A Full Plate Doesn’t = A Stomach Ache

8 09 2013

I honestly wish I had a dollar for every time I’ve heard “You have way too much on your plate”.  If I did have a dollar for every time I’ve heard that, I no doubt would be able to buy that Rolex watch I don’t need. 

I would agree that if a person were burning the candles at both ends, missing deadlines, not responding to emails, or phone calls, making costly mistakes or decisions and just sucking hind tit in their position, that yes, you have way too much on your plate and it would probably be a good idea to divest, digest or do a little portion control.  If that means speaking up to your boss or supervisor before you implode or explode, then please do.

However, some people are just good at being a “professional” over-eater.  If that individual is able to manage all the things on their plate, hit deadlines, exceed budgets, ask for seconds, and know when to ask for thirds, then don’t make it your business to worry about what is on said plate, especially if their (digestive) track record is a winning one. 

Your view of their plate could be a deceptive one so don’t be judgmental.  Also, evaluate why you actually feel you can make this statement.  Does it boil down to how you are interacting with this person?  If your idea of communicating is a “drop by” meeting or “shit on demand” (I need this yesterday) type of interaction, don’t be surprised if the red carpet isn’t rolled out for you.  They honestly aren’t sitting at their desk waiting for you to need them each day.   In almost every case, they have planned their work and are currently busy working that plan. 

Net, net…everyone is wired differently.  Some people accept their full plate and suffer in silence, there are those who piss and moan about their full plate to anyone that will give them an audience, and others who simply bite off more than they can chew.  But, there are a handful that are pretty darn good at digesting what’s on their plate plus welcome an additional trip to the buffet line.  For those rare few, don’t be so quick to think they are moody and stressed – think instead they are focused and flourishing.  There could be the chance that underneath all that food, they actually have a bigger plate than you.  And you know what, that’s ok.




A Heavy Heart is Tough to Lift

1 09 2013

heavy heartAs I sit here nestled in the solace of my favorite thinking spot, I am reminded of how when things get tough for me, I need to turn to that special little therapy that pulls me through.

Sweating through high intestity cardio on a treadmill, pressing some iron, hoisting kettle bells, or concentrating through a yoga class, while helpful for the physical me, just doesn’t cut it for the spiritual side…or should I say, my soul.  Sadly, none of the above can lift a heavy heart.

Sitting here composing my thoughts in writing is the only outlet I truly feel I have.  Many of my personal posts are marked as private, but there are the occasional few (like this one) that I will let slip through to a public forum.  I do it because I hope it helps others realize that things happen in this life, whether you percieve or judge them as good or bad.  These “things” that happen are important in our growth spiritually and emotionally in becoming and being in touch with who we really are.

I am of the utmost belief that things do happen for a reason.  And while they seem or feel devastating at the time, bad things in reality, could be good things as we are being given an amazing opportunity to grow and evolve spiritually.

While I won’t go into details the series of “things” that have occurred over the past several months in my life, I can say that I am fully conscious of the synchronicity of each and that there are important lessons to be learned on this path called “Who I really Am”.  In 2013, while I have my health, wealth and family, has proved extremely challenging in the area that gets the most of my focus.  Those who know me understand exactly what that is.

New realities unfold all the time.  I have to learn to accept the new reality.  Take my heavy heart, decide how I will improve my attitude and my belief system knowing “it is what it is.”  One thing is for certain – Now is real.  Accept it.  Do not judge it.  Evolve with what you have now.

When Your MOJO Is M.I.A.

9 07 2013

mojo-sdkIf you’ve ever been to the horse races, it wouldn’t take many visits to notice that thoroughbreds don’t run every day.  As a matter of fact, they run every 7-10 days at best.  Stop and think for a minute how that formula might work in everyday life.  We probably wouldn’t get much accomplished, now would we?

In the real world, we are expected to perform like thoroughbreds every day.  Bring our “A” game to the table and have laser focus.  But again, I say that is the expectation.  The reality is that sometimes we don’t have the same intensity day in and day out.  Whether it is a negative environment, a business deal gone sour or personal issues, nothing seems to be going right, you don’t feel like you’re growing and your mojo feels distant.

Who’s responsibility is it to bring us out of this funk?  Does that job fall on our friends, spouse, co-workers, relative or boss?  Honestly, these people can help us realize what is important, only as an individual can we really impact the results.

So how do you motivate yourself when your mojo is M.I.A.?  First, begin by understanding that this is a natural experience to go through and one that needs to be the exception and not the rule.  At the end of the day, there is personal accountability to inspire and motivate one’s self.  It is not your boss’s job to keep you psyched up every hour of the work day, nor your family or friend’s responsibility outside of the office.

Here are a few things that I do when I feel the anxiety or angst starting to affect my mojo:

  • Breathe…and embrace the fact that I feel a rut coming on.  I don’t fight it as it will make things harder for me.  The faster I try to dig, the deeper the hole might get.  If I don’t battle it, it will not gain more power over me.
  • Get Clear On My Vision – Truly visualize what it is I am hoping to achieve.   I focus on what needs to be done and helping others that rely on me to achieve their goals.  Without a clear vision, it will be one distraction after another.
  • Focus on one element of a project, complete that and move on from there.  Don’t make a huge list of to-do’s for yourself.  Even more angst and failure.
  • I work out and I don’t mean a stroll to the fridge and back.  I do cardio, weight, and core work every day.  I can’t imagine not having exercise as an outlet.  Things are a heck of a lot easier to tackle and look much different to me after a work out.
  • Examine my perspective.  I try not to hold onto an old perspective.  I try to watch how others look at things in order to help myself.
  • I make an extra effort to steer clear of the whiners and associate more with the people I view as winners.
  • Review my past successes and remind myself of the good things that I’ve achieved and that my next success is around the corner
  • I try to not procrastinate and associate pain with what might be the obstacle in my path.  (I’ve improved significantly on this one)

I can honestly say that I avoid many a rut by implementing the above.  I have the discipline necessary to stay on track.  At the end of the day, discipline is merely the motivation to stick with something.  That ongoing motivation is what keeps the proper level of mojo in place and allows me the ability to do my best work personally and professionally.

Are You Doing What It Takes To Become Indespensable?

8 07 2013

indesBe a change agent.  Differentiate or die.  Change for the sake of change.  I can’t tell you how many times I have heard those phrases or similar lines.  One thing is certain – change is inevitable.  Our world is changing faster than the speed of light and if we don’t change along with it, we will be obsolete in our professional lives.

Regardless of what field you are in, you are being affected by technology in some way.  For the most part, companies are becoming leaner, more efficient, and learning to thrive with less people.  Gone are the folks close to retirement who took the buy out.  Ousted are the individuals resistant to change.  Few are the people still around that are clinging to the way things were done in the past and wondering how much longer the unacceptable will be acceptable.

Trust me, my intent is not to bum you out.  These are exciting times we live in and we have so many ways at our fingertips in which to ensure that we flourish and our futures are bountiful.  But we have to work harder on our special powers…that secret sauce that positions us leaps and bounds ahead of our colleagues.  We have to learn to be rain makers regardless of the position we hold, leaders no matter what title we have and artists regardless of the type of work we do.  And if that weren’t enough, we must consistently over achieve and raise the bar of expectation placed on us.

How do we go about doing that?  There are hundreds of ways and my formula will be different from yours and yours will be different from someone else’s.  No two ways will be identical.

Here are seven simple “habits” that I have adopted:

1.  Arrive early and stay late.  This shows you are dedicated to your job or you don’t have a life.  I actually do have a life, but have a lengthy commute to and from the office.  I have little patience for traffic and choose to miss it both coming and going.  I also LOVE the early mornings before my colleagues show up. That sacred “me time” where I am able to get things off my list that will create the clearest path for the remainder of my day.

2.  Make the company more money.  There are 2 ways to be successful with this one.  Figure out ways to increase revenues or save the company money.  If you can do both, all the better!

3.  Demonstrate leadership.  It doesn’t matter what title you have within a company, you can step up and be a leader.  Take charge, assume ownership, lead by example.  Oh, and take on the responsibilities no one else wants to do.

4.  Be fully present.  Only take a sick day or a personal day when you absolutely need to do so.  Rest assured, there is always someone keeping track of your attendance.

5.  Self-Education.  If you’re not regularly reading about industry, trends in trade, business publications, podcasts, articles on leadership, self-improvement or studying the habits of established successful people, you’re compromising your career growth.  Staying current, and being able to apply your learned knowledge demonstrates your understanding and place within the industry.

6.   Prioritize.  Many people have paralysis by analysis…you know, the to do list that never gets shorter.  It is so easy to add things to your to-do list, but just as critical to know what to take off.  Good decision making, delegating and prioritization are the signs of an effective leader, regardless of your title and stature within an organization.

7.  Say no to drama.  Don’t get caught up in the office politics.  I must admit that the entertainment value of showing up some days at work is priceless.  But at the end of the day, it takes your eye off of the ball.  If someone starts gossiping to you, take the high road.  Don’t give them the stage to interrupt your important work.  Simply excuse yourself by explaining you have an important project to finish.  This allows you to avoid the gossip without being rude to the gossiper.

Making yourself indispensable is something everyone can do regardless of your position or lot in life.  Our workplace no longer accepts the status quo.   It requires constant growth and change.  Being adaptable, and growing and learning as your company changes and evolves.  If you aren’t growing you are becoming obsolete.

At the end of the day, you are doing one of two things:  You are either working to make yourself indispensable or you’re working to make yourself obsolete.

The choice is entirely yours.

Stirring the Pot

14 06 2013


No, I’m not talking about making trouble for someone.  Cooking and selling have many things in common…You are always working with a variety of ingredients to create the desired end result.  You turn the heat up or down.  You let things simmer to achieve perfection.

Are you stirring the pot enough with your business?  We’ve all had the experience of cooking something in the kitchen while also reading a book, magazine or watching TV at the same time.  Where you become completely, temporarily engrossed in what you’re reading or watching and then SNIFF, SNIFF, the smell of charred food fills the air.  I recently set flour tortillas on fire…no kidding…in my microwave.  I was so caught up with talking on the phone that when I smelled something burning, I kept checking my pots on the stove and for the life of me, couldn’t figure out what was causing the smell and smoke.  The skillet and sauce pan were just fine.  In our sales world, we can burn things up as well and it all starts with complacency.

Complacency is defined by Mr. Webster as:  A feeling of contentment or self-satisfaction, especially when coupled with an unawareness of danger or trouble.  Hello…something is definitely burning here!  Complacency happens to all of us if we allow it.  For a salesperson, or entrepreneur it is especially dangerous.  When sales are going great, you have a large client investing heavily with you, or perhaps a project deadline seems way in the future, it is easy to let up and think the workload or commitment to customer service can wait.  Then, seemingly out of nowhere, the large client has cash flow problems, changes their marketing direction or moves to an ad agency and it doesn’t include your advertising medium OR you.  Couple that with the fact that a project is due next week and you haven’t closed a sale all month.  Did these things happen by accident?  Absolutely not.  The pot was left on the burner too long without any attention from you.

My advice:  Stir the pot before things start to boil over.  When sales are going well is not the time to sit back, relax or become otherwise preoccupied.  It IS the perfect time to use the positive energy and confidence you feel and apply it in new directions.  Research, read books that propel you forward with ideas and attitude, call on new prospects or touch base with your current customers  so they know you’re thinking about them.  By stirring the pot, you are showing care and attention to yourself as well as your customers.  You are anticipating needs and planning for future business.  It doesn’t take much work and the rewards are great.  Let’s face it, we all need to be Betty Crocker’s of our business.

A Time For Reflection

26 12 2012

reflectionI recently received an email with the subject title: What career advice did your parents give you? Given the fact that yesterday was Christmas and I have so much to be thankful for, I thought it was only appropriate to address this question in my blog.
My parents taught me many things about being in the workforce. Some of the things they verbalized, but most of what I learned was by watching how they conducted themselves. Here is a short list:
1. Be early, stay late and do more than is expected.
2. No matter what you do, be the best at it.
3. The harder you work, the luckier you will be.
4. You don’t have to be the smartest if you have the ability to outwork everyone else.
5. Continue to invest in yourself…it will pay dividends.
6. Be honest and have integrity in all that you do.

My parents always wanted their kids to have it better than they did. I owe much of my success to both of them. They worked hard at raising me and my brothers. I can only imagine how difficult it was for them at times to give us all the wonderful things that we had growing up. The sacrifices they made so we could have nice things.
I only wish that my mom could have lived just a little bit longer so I could pay her back during her retirement and spoil her like she spoiled me. Thankfully, I still have my dad. I can say that after my mom passed, my dad and I became much closer. I will continue to do everything in my power to make certain my dad has everything he needs whether it is help making ends meet or extra spending money to do fun things he should be doing during retirement.

I can NEVER pay them back for all they have given me…but I can sure try.

The Devil We Know

30 06 2010


How many times have you made a decision because it was the easiest, safest, or most convenient one, but not the right one?   It’s seems to happen quite often in business and our personal lives when we stick with the devil we know.  This happened to me yesterday as I was spending my day with an out of town event promoter.  He came in for a market visit to scope out the location a group of colleagues and me had chosen for a new event we want to create and his company to produce.  In our minds the venue was perfect.  It was in an area that fit the wheelhouse of the demographic we wanted to reach, we held another successful event at this same venue earlier in the year, and we had a pre-existing win-win partnership with the folks there.  Like a great pair of jeans, it just seemed to fit.

Here’s what was wrong with this equation.  We wanted it to work with this venue….I wanted it to work with this venue.  There is something to be said for replicating success, after all, our earlier event there was a HOMERUN.  The big difference is that the event we had and the event we want to create are extremely different from one another.  While the venue fit hand in glove for the one event, the new event would have been like sticking a square peg in a round hole.  It took a complete stranger to slap me back to reality by using phrases like – “There is no customer service here, no hospitality.”  “This place conducts itself like it isn’t going to be around next year.”  “With the caliber of event you are trying to create, this venue doesn’t have the right feel.”  “What do you want the ultimate outcome to be?”
Talk about a buzz kill.  We walked back to the car, drove off, and for what seemed like an eternity neither of us spoke.  When the dialogue started back up, he said he knew I was disappointed.  I said, “No, I’m not disappointed – I’m thankful.  Thankful that you didn’t sugar coat things and were honest and up front with me on what you thought.  After all, you are the expert in your field when executing these types of events and setting your partners up for success.”

There is a happy ending to this story.  He and I drove around for the next couple of hours scouting out alternate locations.  Just like Goldie Locks and the Three Bears, we found a suitable replacement…a better choice, and what will hopefully be the perfect location.

I am normally dead set against choosing the Devil We Know. I will fight to the bitter end against something if I feel we are making the wrong decision.  I know how easy it is to cave and go to silly extremes to avoid pain, like pulling off the bandage hair by hair!   In this case, it took someone on the outside looking in to get me to see the forest from the trees.  What hit home the most was getting VERY clear on what the outcome is we are looking to achieve.  Since most people avoid getting clear first, it was only natural to end up hanging onto the devil we know.  I will chalk this up to experience and appreciate the fact I can learn from it.  Thanks Mike for the gentle nudge back to reality.

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