Archive for the ‘Entrepreneur’ Category

change the world

October 23, 2013

creating video content

October 15, 2013

Today we are working with Jordan Productions on video content for the business.  This is a project I have been anxious to do for some time and can’t believe we are finally working on it!  The picture above is taken in the living room at my house by Evie, an assistant to Jordan, during the work in progress.

You can follow Jordan Productions at http://www.facebook.com/JordanProduction or on Twitter at @JetblackJordanD.

What creative work have you been involved in lately?

Why Don’t You Comment on My Blog?

October 10, 2013

Last week we discussed why I comment on blogs.  Today we will discuss reasons why people don’t comment on blogs.

  • Words.  They feel they have no words to share.  Largely because their voice has never mattered. They don’t feel it will now either.
  • Impression.  They are more concerned about what impression people will have about them.  This means more to them then sharing their thoughts.
  • Interest.  They are not interested in making a difference.  They are not interested in making an impact.
  • Fear.  They are afraid of what people will think of them.  They fear what they will say will be understood.  They fear what they will say might offend.  They fear what they think will not matter.  They fear having what they write be out there for everyone to see.  They fear
  • Meaning.  They don’t have meaning in their comment.  They don’t take time to make it meaningful.

What did I just spell out here with the first letter of each word listed in those 5 points?

 

WIIFM = What’s In It For Me

 

If you haven’t heard  of this before, you might not be used to WIIFM.  What’s in it for me.  That is the typical way people look at any situation.  Their focus is not WIIFO.

 

WIFFO = What’s In It For Others

 

They are concerned about how the comment on the post will benefit them not others.  If this holds you back, may I encourage you to change from WIIFM to WIIFO!

Do You Comment on Blogs?

October 4, 2013

I am an avid follower of about 20 blogs, via email.  They vary in topics from personal life stuff, business topics relating to my industry, entrepreneurship, hobbies, spiritual, and minimalistic simplification blogs that inspire me.

I like to receive the blogs I follow via email because if a post is a good one, I can easily forward it to a friend.  If it’s one I want to keep, I just put it in a folder for the topic that it applies to.  Everyone has their own form, some people prefer RSS Feed.  I don’t.  Maybe it’s because I haven’t found a way to make it work for me.  Regardless, I love being inspired by blog posts.  I look forward to them each day.

Any topic the blogger writes about that grips me, I comment on.  I share.  I engage.  I reflect.  I ask questions.  Does the average person do so?  No.  Why do I say this?  Because I have blogged business wise since 2010 [two blogs with exact same content, a WordPress.com and a WordPress.org] and personally since 2007.  Do you know how many people comment?  Very few, ever.  The most comments I get on the business blog is SPAM material.  I believe there are lots of reasons for this, but that’s a topic for another post.  Today I want to share why I comment as I do.

I want the writer to know their efforts were not in vain.  I want them to know that their content was interesting and that it had value.  I want them to know what they shared meant something to me.  I want them to get feedback so if the topic could be expounded on even to a deeper level, they will use the comments to generate more blog posts with additional thoughts.  I wish to create a relationship.  I want them to know they matter to me.  I want to support them.  I want to learn.  I want to maximize the learning.  I want to engage other readers.  I want to share hope.  I want to make a difference.  I want them to be inspired.  I want the comments to increase their rankings through Google.

Are you a blog follower?  Why do you comment on blogs?  Will you share your blog if you have one?

Why do you Blog?

October 2, 2013

When people learn you blog, usually their first question is, why?

Is everyone a blogger? No, anymore than everyone is a doctor, a lawyer, a CPA, or any other vocation.  We all our different individuals with our own flair.

Are there bloggers out there that don’t know they are?  For sure.  I didn’t know I was a writer.  I thought all writers kept a journal, and I don’t keep a journal.  I didn’t think I had something to share that would benefit others.

For some people, they can’t write words.  Or they think they can’t.  They can’t share what is on their heart.  Or they think they can’t.  For some, even if they could, they won’t.  They can’t take the things that happen in life and make lessons out of them.  Or they are not spending time reflecting on their lives and the lessons that are presenting themselves.  They can’t share an opinion.  Or they think they nobody would want to hear their opinion.

What got me into blogging?  A simple desire to encourage and support.  To do what others don’t.  To take the passion for what I do and share it.  To have a platform to teach.  I love to learn and I absolutely love to help others learn too.  Entrepreneurship is more than just making money.  It involves the Wheel of Life [if you are not familiar with Zig Ziglar’s Wheel of Life – google it].  It is taking all those things and intricately making it work together with balance.

Are you a writer?  Are you a blogger?  Are you a teacher?

If so…will you share what has motivated you to write, blog and teach?

If not…will you share how reading, following blogs, and taking classes has benefited you and why you do it?

LifePlan Testimonial

September 27, 2013

It’s been a month since I did LifePlan Coaching with Chris LoCurto.  If you remember, I did a video testimonial the end of the second day.  They asked me if I would do a written testimonial, and I thought I would share it with you, my readers:

 

In a nutshell, the Life Plan has you evaluate everything you have experienced in your life to clearly understand why you are who you are today.  We tend to get so focused on “pressing on”, so fervently, leaving the past behind, that we do not stop to reflect and let it impact our lives.  I believe the verse and principal of God is a crucial concept to moving forward, but until I accept, acknowledge and address the past I am unable to move forward with freedom.  It’s really hard when your past is ugly, because nobody likes ugly stories, we all want to read, hear and live the good ones.  This is emotionally tough to do but required in order to let God have his perfect work and use this greatly in my life.

 

I strongly recommend you check into this if you want to grow yourself as a Leader, Entrepreneur, or just personally because you are interested in understanding your life.  Head over to Chris LoCurto’s website and contact him for further information.  He will be delighted to meet you!  Don’t forget to tell him you know me…

Nomination for Savvy Chicks Rule 2013

September 20, 2013

I received word yesterday, that I was nominated for the Savvy Chicks Rule 2013!

I was chosen as a Savvy Chick who is “Ruling” in a Spiritual Influence or Teaching category and recognized for Surpassing every obstacle that stands in my way, for letting my life Shine in everything I do and for realizing that I can Succeed in everything I put my mind to!

I want to publicly give a BIG Thank You to Pam Long Weatherford for nominating me for the Savvy Chicks Rule 2013!  My goal is to be generous, encourage, support, and inspire you both personally and in business.  I consider it a great honor to have received such a reward and want to give a special thanks to my friend Pam for her friendship and believing in me to the point she wished to share with Savvy Chicks why I was qualified to earn this reward.

I am blessed!!!

Learning to do what You Love

September 20, 2013

This week, we posted a picture to encourage you in your Entrepreneurship Journey…it read:

Do What You Love

Love What You Do

Today we ask you to consider:

  1. Are you doing what you love?
  2. Do you love what you do?

Are those the same things?

For some people they are.  For some people, they aren’t.

How can you align them?  First you have to figure out what you love.

What are you drawn to?

What makes you excited?

What do you think is a great thing to be involved in?

What makes you absolutely passionate about it?

What can you do even when utterly exhausted, you find more energy to pursue that?

What gives you energy?

What makes you want to make a difference?

Make a list of these questions.  Add more question to it.  Look inside.  Find the answer deep within you.  This is what you Love.  You LOVE!

Go do that.  You will find you will be happy.  You will be encouraged.  You will be blessed.  You will thrive.  You will bring life.

Do What You Love…Love What You Do

September 18, 2013

Tests while on Vacation

September 6, 2013

As I mentioned in my post earlier this week, I had tests while I was on vacation as to how I would handle my commitment to unplug during my mixed business and vacation trip to Tennessee.

The first test came my first day.  I was out by the pool and had been on Facebook, catching up on some friends walls and happenings going on when a Facebook Message came through from someone who has been asking me questions the last three months or so about getting into Medical Billing.  I have always promptly answered and given her a thorough response.  I responded that I was out-of-town on vacation and would be glad to get back to her when I returned.  She asked more questions.  I responded again that I would love to help her when I got back and would check into the link she sent me then, but that I was going to break my bad habits and break away from all work related tasks.  She then responded that she had to have an answer now as the class was starting before I returned.

I felt cornered.  I felt pressure.  She wasn’t taking no for an answer.

The deep issue was that I love to help people, however I can and in whatever ways I can be supportive, I desperately wanted to help her, but at the same time I knew myself, I don’t just do a little bit of research, and this short “check this out and let me know link” would turn into at least a two-hour ordeal.  I am thorough in every aspect of my response to people, paid and unpaid.  I didn’t feel I could take the time to go read this link and give her a short response and come away feeling that I had done my job justice and give her the response that was what she was really seeking from me without violating my commitment to myself during this unwinding time off work.

I was frustrated.  Really frustrated with myself.  I decided that I would not respond.  I had already told her my position, I couldn’t be more plain.

Then guilt set in.  She couldn’t control my vacation and she honestly wanted my help.

Then I remembered she had all the advice and information  I had sent to her previously.  I could not make this decision for her.  It was hers to make.  I responded and let her know this and answered a few more questions she had hurled my way in the lapse of my attention to it, and told her that I couldn’t help more at this time, I truly was sorry.  I put the phone away and ignored it.  I had to.

This was really tough to do, especially by this point, I had already spent 30 minutes doing what I literally said I was not going to do.  I was angry at myself.

I then took a deep breath and gave myself a pep talk:  “This is your first time to do this.  Chill.  You didn’t give in completely, relax.  Yes, you could have handled this a better way, but you made a stab at it and you did what you did.  It’s done, move on.”

I should have let my first response be my only response and let it go.  It was not a life and death emergency.  If she chose to enroll in a class less than a week to go, this was not my problem.  There was no “urgency”.  A lack of planning on your part does not constitute an emergency on my part.  When will I learn?

Awwwhhhhh, this was part of the learning.  I had to learn.

The second test came from a voicemail of a clients employee calling me and asking me for the shredding services contact name and information.  She stated “I know you are on vacation but know you will have this with you if you could kindly contact me back”.  I made a note on my todolist for when I returned to get this to her.  I did not call or text her back.

This one, made me feel like I had achieved something!  For once.  I kept my promise to myself.  No, I was not going to work was a complete NO.

The third challenge came from a sibling insisting that I talk during my coaching session.  I had left my phone on silent in my purse downstairs intentionally.  I spent a lot of money to do this and I was not going to be interrupted or loose my focus during this intense session.  This was not acceptable to this person and I was told “Everyone has two seconds.”

This hurt deeply.  To the gal who wants to help you more than you even know, this cut deep.  But I held strong and said no.  I will spare you the drama and the other things that were verbally hurtful to me and used to put me on a guilt trip, because it doesn’t matter.

I share these three tests I encountered to encourage you…IF you struggle with work life balance issues like I do, I came away with five nuggets from these encounters:

  • Don’t be afraid to step out from your routine and learn to do things different.  Just because you “always have” doesn’t mean you “always will”.
  • In order to replace a bad habit, you have to create a new one.  You can’t just do nothing, something has to be different or you will automatically do the same thing again.
  • Set boundaries and stick to them.  Be disciplined to know your pitfalls and what will cause you to trip up and not be able to focus on your commitment.
  • Don’t go back on your commitment to yourself.  Stay the course and learn from the tests that come your way so that next time, you are a winner from the get go and you don’t have any internal war with yourself!
  • Not everyone will understand.  Not everyone will get your need to unplug.  Do it anyways.

5 Steps to Unplug During Vacation

September 3, 2013

I recently took a 10 day vacation [actually just got back to the routine today]…something that is really very hard for me to do because I absolutely LOVE to work!

I am passionate about being available for my clients.  I never want to not be able to help them when something comes up.  I want to resolve their problems quickly and never want to have them in a position where they have to wait.  However, that “ideal” desire means I never call it quits and hence when I typically take a vacation, I still work.  They know this.  They know my response time is near immediate, or as soon as I get out of a meeting or training session.  So when they hear me stating I am going to go away, they don’t assume that means I am unavailable, because they have gotten used to my habits.

My bad habits which have created a life long work life balance issue.

This time, I felt it was time to make a serious change and not continue to just keep talking about making changes to my work life balance issues.  I made a commitment to myself that I would not work for a full 10 days, even if 2 full days were going to be spent doing a one-on-one coaching session.  I promised myself I would not read any business email, I would not talk to any clients via text or phone, and I would not discuss work with anyone the entire time. Believe me, I got my tests at this, which I will talk about in another post.

Today, I want to share with you the 5 things I did to ensure that I totally kept my commitment to myself.

  1. A week ahead of my departure, I sent an email to all my clients, strategic business partners, employees, and vendors letting them know that I would be out of the office taking a vacation and business coaching course from date to date.  I let them know I would not be taking phone calls, responding to emails or text messages until I returned.  I thanked them for their support and patience.
  2. After I completed that, I created the auto respond to all emails and set that up to start the night before I was to leave through the morning I returned to work.  It pretty much stated the same thing that I had sent out a week in advance, but was shorter and straight to the point but included a response would come the day I returned to work.  As always, I thanked them for their business.  I want them to know they mean something to me, because they do!
  3. I put my cell phone on silent the entire time I was on vacation.  In order for me to not answer a call or text message, I felt I could not be in “normal mode”.  I had to set new boundaries.  Since I did not want to be pinged by the voicemail, email, Facebook, LinkedIn, or text message alerts [yes, I could have just gone into all these and reset the settings but that probably would have taken more time than to just turn the sound off], this was the easiest solution to silence the incoming message.  If I wanted to engage in social media or emails, I had the option and could choose when I wanted to be on my phone but outside of that, I was not available and would not have to make the hard decision to respond or answer because I couldn’t and wouldn’t hear it.
  4. I limited my “online” time at the computer each day.  When you spend much of your time in front of a computer, in order to unplug, you have to change things.  I checked personal email once a day, blogged at the end of the day or the next morning about the previous day, and I logged into business email to delete the trash and keep the inbox from getting too full to quickly.  However, I did not once read any of them nor did I respond.
  5. I changed my Voicemail to state I was unavailable and would return calls when I was back in the office and the date that that would transpire.

I have had friends state they have had to delete their application so they didn’t do email while on vacation. I am sure there are many ways to accomplish the task and achieve your goal.  Would you like to share one way that works for you?

I am pleased to tell you…I kept my commitment and though I had 3 different tests come my way, I made great strides at creating a new habit to break away and unplug from work, the phone, emails, texts, and social media…just relax and enjoy life with no set routine!

Life Plan Coaching Session Day 2

August 28, 2013

We were to begin Day 2 at 8.30am. Fighting feelings from the 1st Day of coaching and dragging physically from mental and emotional exhaustion, we began Day 2.

Before we began, Chris prayed for our time, prayed for him to help me, for me to learn what I needed to, praised God for his part in our lives and the love he has for each of us, and more.  We then launched in and reviewed the nuggets of things that impacted me, along with the lessons I learned from the day before.

 

Module 6

We created and reviewed a list of the Talent Heart Assessment. What are your:

  • passions
  • needs
  • drives
  • obsessions
  • characteristics
  • qualities
  • yearnings
  • hopes (or expectations)
  • accomplishments

What is the message from these?

 

Module 7

We reviewed Thinking Wave Links:

In a Scale of 1-10, we rated how I relate to what feels the most comfortable to me with:

  • Risk
  • Change
  • Variables
  • Process
  • Ambiguity
  • Opportunity

1 being the least Risk and 10 being the most Risk. You add these numbers up, divide them by 6 and then you are placed on a chart. The chart has 5 categories: Grinders, Minders, Keepers, Finders and Conceivers. This scale is done both personally and then in business. You can’t be off more than two points or you will crash and burn within 18 months if you stay there.

 

Module 8

We reviewed Internal Wiring:  What are your drivers vs what are your comfort zones?

 

Module 9

We created and reviewed My Replenishment Cycle:  When you are replenished, you are strong, face fears, you can do anything. When you aren’t replenished, you are worn down, tired, everything becomes difficult to do.

 

Module 10

We created and reviewed My Core Values: Core Values are the things that you use to make decisions and filters.  These can change as your life changes.

 

Module 11

We brainstormed and made a list of nouns and verbs of items that “I exist because/to”:

These things make My Life Purpose (why I exist).  These things create My Life Vision (where I am headed).  These things are My Life Strategies (how I will get there).

From this list, we made a list of things that fuel me (give me energy, keep me going, make me thrive) and things that are brake pedals (things that disable you completely, make you stop or shut you down, and thus create utter difficulty to move forward). The goal is to increase the gas pedal and manage the brake. The brake list is something you want to stay off of.

 

Module 12

We then made a Life Perspective Filter:  This list contained a list of: What needs Action?

 

Module 13

We then created a W.I.N.’s Wheel (What’s Important Now):  This was made in the Life Domains: Personal, Family, Career, Church and Community.

 

Module 14

We then created a Life Initiatives Profile: What are the keys, objectives, next steps, start date and today’s status of them [red, yellow or green].

 

Module 15

We then created a Life Plan Accountability. The list consists of:

  • Partner(s) = people who can handle all the information, all the details, keep you accountable, people who are smart, value you, and are willing to be that support to you
  • Mentor(s) = people who pour wisdom into you
  • Friend(s) = people who you like to be around that can be a friend to you [but are not considered partners and whom you may not share the same level of details with]
  • Protegé(s) = people you pour into

 

Module 16
We created and reviewed specific Life Plan Learning’s from my coaching session.

Life Plan Coaching Session Day 1

August 27, 2013

Today was the day for my first session of Life Plan Coaching with Chris LoCurto.  Chris has an awesome place, and the view is gorgeous!!!

Over breakfast, Chris shared the plan for the day…starting with a diagram of how we face problems…Eastern Culture vs Western Culture.  He said the session would not be information for solutions, it will likely be an emotional day…to the point that I may not want to come back.  He asked me to remember to push past that if thats the way I felt.

We headed upstairs to the theater room, in front of the white board to begin the Life Plan Coaching Session.  Chris stated by the end of the day, I would hate the question he would ask of me the most, which would be “Why?”

 

Module 1

We started with: “What is the primary thing you want to get out of this? …the next 2 days?”

  • Primary Goal
  • Personal Goal
  • Family Goal
  • Career Goal
  • Church Goal
  • Community Goal
Module 2
Chris asked:
  1. What is right?
  2. What is wrong?
  3. What is confused?
  4. What is missing?
I answered the questions.  Chris asked, Why?  I answered with more answers.  Chris asked, Why?  I answered more in-depth yet, and Chris asked, Why?Chris reminded me to understand my personality style.  To be comfortable with it.  The things discovered in today’s session will not be to create victims.  Not to create monsters.  The purpose is to point out what happened and why.
Module 3
We reviewed Turning Points in My Life Story.  We intellectually understand our lives but not fully until we emotionally understand.
God is in the middle of ALL that happened.  [I know this theoretically  just wish I knew this in reality at the time I was facing these things in my life, like I do now.]
Module 4
We created Turning Points Profile of the review of my life.  We then created themes of these periods.
Module 5a and Module 5b
I then made a list of Turning Points Learned from this process, which consisted of a list of 30 items.  [At dinner Chris told me that the most he has ever had someone do was 26, I exceeded that.]Chris asked:  What are you afraid of?  God wants us to surrender to take it away from us. Until you do, he has to work around those things.  Listen.  Focus.  Allow God to speak to you.You can’t fix the business until you fix yourself.
My Homework:  Write a Letter to God to include
F = Family or Future
R = Reputation
M = Money
P = Possessions
T = Time
H = Health
I took 6 pages of notes…there will be more posts about this later, but for now, you know what we covered today.

Social Media Questions

August 16, 2013

Facebook is a main form of Social Media interaction today.  Everyone uses it for a different platform.  Some people are out to vent about their day.  Some people check in at every spot they go.  Some people never post, never like, never comment, never share, never seem alive.  Some people even have a generic profile picture because they want to look like they are hiding.  No matter your reasons, your method, your choice of which Social Media you use, we all must address these questions:

  • What do I want to get out of Social Media?
  • Who do I want to interact with?
  • Why do I want to be on Social Media?
  • Who are my “friends”?
  • What happens if someone disagrees with my post?
  • What happens if I hurt someone’s feelings?
  • What message do I want my Social Media to say about me?
  • How often do I wish to engage on Social Media?
  • Who am I trying to target with my Social Media?
  • What are the benefits of Social Media?

These are a few questions that you must answer in order to create and have the online Social Media presence you want.  Once these are answered, you can move forward with implementing the purpose and vision you have for Social Media.

As you reflect on the answer to these questions above, are there others you feel need to be asked?  If so, share them with the readers below!

We look forward to hearing from you and you sharing the what, why, and who of Social Media with us!

Why Good Communication is Key

August 8, 2013

In order to be a great leader you must be a great communicator. The key to becoming a skillful communicator is rarely found in what has been taught in the world of education.  From our earliest days in the classroom we are trained to focus on enunciation, vocabulary, presence, delivery, grammar, syntax and the like. In other words, we are taught to focus on ourselves. While each of these things are important to learn, the critical elements of communication are rarely taught.

In order to be a great communicator, you have to be intentional in your communication.  You have to be keenly focused on the relationship and your interaction with others.  Your message won’t be taken to heart by your audience and won’t be understood, let alone make an impact if you don’t.

While developing an understanding of great communication skills is easier than one might think, being able to appropriately draw upon said skills when the chips are down is not always as easy as one might hope for.

The best communicators are great listeners and astute in their observations. Great communicators are skilled at reading a person/group by sensing the moods, dynamics, attitudes, values and concerns of those being communicated with. Not only do they read their environment well, but they possess the uncanny ability to adapt their messaging to said environment without missing a beat. The key is that the message is not about the messenger, it must be 100% about the listener and meeting the needs and the expectations of those you’re communicating with.

What ways do you practice your communication skills?

5 Keys to Establish You Know What You are Talking About

August 1, 2013

In order to create a rapport with your team, you need to establish a relationship with them that you know what you are talking about. Nobody wants to be taught from someone who “thinks” they know the right thing. It is pertinent that you have your data and facts in order and spend time understanding them to be able to explain it in detail to someone who doesn’t. This means that you must develop a technical command over your subject matter. If you don’t possess subject matter expertise, few people will give you the time of day. You will be passed off as a “wanna be” and someone who “thinks they know it all”. People have little interest in listening to those individuals who cannot add value to a situation or topic, but force themselves into a conversation just to hear themselves speak. You must bring value to the table to be heard.

1. Spend time learning your subject matter.
2. Create articles to support what you know.
3. Be willing to have discussions around the topic to answer the why’s and how’s people have about it.
4. Find like minded people who have an interest in what you do so that you can learn to share your ideas and knowledge with others.
5. Perform speaking engagements to perfect your skill.

a worthy vocation

July 18, 2013

I have been reflecting on work, specially my career work as an entrepreneur providing Medical Billing, Credentialing, Accounting, Consulting & Training Services to my clients.  What does it mean to be doing something worthy?  When I say worthy, I mean a vocation that is beneficial, has value, is serving?  

Growing up, my parents did not want me to continue schooling beyond High School.  And in reality, they wanted me to “get out of school” as soon as I could.  Thus, I graduated High School at 15, in the 2nd Semester of my Sophomore Year by taking the California High School Proficiency Exam.  This is a test for 16 year olds [or those who are in their 2nd Semester if not 16 yet] similar to the GED that is known nationally.  The test was 6 hours long.  I passed the first time and got my certificate December 1991.  No walking across the stage though I did get a certificate mailed to me.  Now what?  My parents plans for me were to get married and have kids.  They didn’t believe it was right for girls to work, in fact they believed it was independent and haughty to hold a job.  In case you don’t know, I am now 36, not married and will never be a birth mom.  This is another way I haven’t fulfilled my parents dreams.  In the interim to this plan, my parents wanted me to learn to type and I did on an old fashioned typewriter of my Dad’s.  I got my speed up really fast, nothing like a computer keyboard where you have auto correct and can easily backspace.  You had to put these tape stuff in the slot to correct your mistakes.  The goal was to type really fast, not looking at my fingers and reading from a script to the right or left of the typewriter.  After hours of perfecting my skill, timing myself, striving for 100% accuracy, I got really good at it.  Then my parents had me go door to door trying to solicit work to type.  Really?  Out in the desert where nobody lives you think someone is going to use me?  Nothing came of it.  I did some babysitting, until that infringed on my mom’s schedule.  I was forced to get a job when my Dad’s health insurance policy was going to go up $100 because of my age and to keep the option of staying on the family plan until I was 21.  They stated they could not afford this and I would have to get a job, though it was without their blessing.  I landed my first job from my first interview.  It was a job in the medical field at a Dermatologist Office, March 1996 at age 19.  I was hired as a Part Time File Clerk, but only worked Part Time the first day.  They had so much work for me to do they needed me to come back Full Time until they got caught up.  Needless to say,I have never worked Part Time.  They taught me more and more and more things and by the time I left that job, I was doing Medical Billing.  I have been in the medical field ever since. I started my own business June 2004 doing what I had learned to do on the job and through classes, continuing education, research, seminars and the like.  I have devoted my life to learning it so much that I know it backwards and forwards.  

In reflecting on all this, I have come to believe that my parents thoughts on what was a worthy vocation were wrong.  The “Group of Christian’s” I have met with my entire life believe that in order to be doing a worthy vocation, you have to do something that blends in with any skill relating to being a mother, anotherwards it would be best that be a midwife, babysitter, seamstress, or a massage therapist.  Any other type of work is “not profitable” or “not as God has called you to do”.  Your job can not take you away from attendance at “meeting”.  Your lifestyle must be simple and you can’t make much money.  Over and above this, our society believes that you are doing something great if you are a doctor, policeman, fireman or someone doing great work for or to people.  Don’t get me wrong, these are great professions, but I don’t believe they are more worthy than any other profession.  They may outwardly “help” people more, but they are not any more noble in God’s eyes then the clerk at the bank.

In reflecting on what God considers worthy, I have thought about Christ’s life here on earth.  Who could have had a more worthy vocation?  Complete service to everyone, not just the disciples, but even the Pharisees that hated and mocked him.  He clearly states he has given each of us different gifts.  Each of us have gifts.  To believe you don’t, means you don’t believe Romans 12:6.  God calls us to be Servants, to Serve and Love His People!  

What is a servant?  Simple.  A person in the service [an act of helpful activity; useful, providing; a supplier; to make fit] of another.

I believe with all my heart that if you do what you do as unto Him, with a servants heart, with the focus of benefiting other people, you will be doing a worthy vocation.  The career you choose or that you land by happenstance, will be a worthy vocation if you put your heart, soul and mind to doing it with a passion and for God.  It may not be your dream job, but you can turn it into a worthy job by making it the lifeline you use to serve.  You can be doing something nobody see’s, but the behind the scenes work also has to happen for the front row people to get in on it.  Don’t let the lack of title or professional experience keep you from serving and loving.  It doesn’t take much to serve, but you must have a willing heart and you must be willing to work with all your might…to serve well and often.

Awww, this is the true definition of a worthy vocation!

Do you have 10 Commandments of Business?

June 18, 2012

I follow several blogs, some business, some motivational, some spiritual, to continue to grow me as an Entrepreneur, an individual, and follower of Christ.  I particularly like the thoughts of one of the posts recently that was discussing the 10 commandments of doing business a different way. A way that is designed to lead to not just a great career that changed lives, but to the ability to love the work you do in the world, the business you aspire to build and the life you want to live.  You can read the complete post here.  Here are the 10 Commandments of Biz Jonathan Fields posted.

Differences between Bosses & Leaders

June 11, 2012

A Boss vs A Leader:

  • Drives Employees…Coaches them
  • Depends on Authority…Depends on Goodwill
  • Inspires fear…Generates enthusiasm
  • Says, “I”…Says, “We”
  • Places blame for the breakdown…Fixes the breakdown
  • Knows how it is done…Shows how it is done
  • Uses people…Develops people
  • Takes credit…Gives credit
  • Commands…Asks
  • Says, “Go”…Says, “Let’s Go”

Which one are you?  Which one are your growing yourself to be?

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012…Patrick Lencioni

May 23, 2012

I attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012 Event again this year via simulcast at Morning Chapel CME Church in Fort Worth on Friday, May 4th, 2012.  I really enjoyed the awesome speakers and of course, I always have my own takeaways, nuggets, and favorite quotes from speakers!  I am going to highlight these over the next few blog posts. The topic this year was on Choices.

Patrick Lencioni

Research shows people have to hear things 7 times before they believe it.

The single based improvement and competitive advantage in our organizations is an opportunity that is free, accessible and virtually untapped.  The things you do to build an organization most people think it’s beneath them.  They thinks it’s not sophisticated enough, not enough adrenaline, not able to quantify, not complex enough. If you ignore these things you will transform your organization.  You must be “smart” about finance/money, technology, marketing, business, and education…and “healthy” minimal politics and confusion, high degrees of morale and productivity and encouragement. Be a leader!  These [smart & healthy] must be 50-50%. Knowledge vs a healthy organization…better “smart” isn’t want is needed.  Build amazing culture and you will tap into your knowledge and make better decisions.  This is a rigorous process.

The Four Disciplines of a Healthy Organization

1 – Build a Cohesive Leadership Team

This is a must.  Be vulnerable.  Vulnerability based trust, not predictive trust…I need help. I don’t understand. I apologize…be butt naked with each other.  If a leader is not vulnerable first, then nobody else will.  Product and strategy may be problems but those are results of lack of trust in the executive team.  You can’t be too vulnerable.  The people we lead know what is going on – be the first to acknowledge it and respond.  Embrace vulnerability.  It’s liberating.  They’ll respond with loyalty and trust.

2 – Create Clarity

Have core values and be willing to be punished/stand up for them.  Agree on this stuff at the highest level.  Be intolerant of the things that don’t support your core values.  Go out and be who you are and over communicate the message.  Leaders can’t be tired of repeating themselves.  If your people can’t do an impression of you, you aren’t communicating it enough.  Put some structure in places around processes that involve people.  Simple structures.  Institutionalize your culture without bureaucracy.  Who are you?  What are your values?  Define that by 1 or 2 things.

3 – Over Communicate Clarity

Communicate.  Communicate.  Communicate.

4 – Reinforce Clarity

Institutionalize without commercializing your structure.  Create enough structure to reinforce this.  Not undefined structure. Great leaders are comfortable doing these things even if they are punished for it because that is how they make it real. Great leaders make it real eve if it hurts them.  Great leaders are humble and willing to do the things that lead their organization.  You will change your team, that will change their spouses, their kids, their families, their neighbors, their friends, and they will treat everyone else better.  None of us can look back and say that is beneath us!

 

Review of my top nuggets:

  • Build amazing culture [high degree of morale, productivity and encouragement].
  • Be vulnerable.
  • Have 1 or 2 core values.
  • None of us can say that this is beneath us!

 

I was the FIRST to register for the event so I got Patrick Lencioni’s book The Advantage!!!  I was very excited to get this as after his talk, I knew I wanted to purchase it!

A special Thank You to the host & team of the event…you did a great job!!!

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012…Sheeyna Iyengar

May 22, 2012

I attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012 Event again this year via simulcast at Morning Chapel CME Church in Fort Worth on Friday, May 4th, 2012.  I really enjoyed the awesome speakers and of course, I always have my own takeaways, nuggets, and favorite quotes from speakers!  I am going to highlight these over the next few blog posts. The topic this year was on Choices.

Dr. Sheeyna Iyengar

What makes a leader?  The one who is at the top of the ladder?  The one with the big office and big salary?  The one who can get away with anything?  One who speaks softly?  One who speaks loudly?

How do they get the respect?  Are they naturally born with charisma?  Fate?  Chance?  Or is it a choice?  Those critical actions they decided to take at those critical moments.  Choice is the only thing that gives meaning in everything we say and do.  Choice puts control in your hands.  Choice is the most powerful tool in your hands to go from where you are today to tomorrow.  Ultimately you are the sum of all your choices.

We all don’t see choices the same, or to the same extent.  How many choices to have, how to make them, who should make them, what is a meaningful choice, why the choice is important, etc.  Culture and training affect our choices.  Give choices that inspire and motivate others.  Choices given are many times more attractive but not as effective [Jam demonstration example].  Effective leaders see choice through other people’s eyes.  Choices are comparing bundles of information.  We struggle when we are given more than 7.

Too much choice = delay, procrastinate, make worse choices, perform  worse, less satisfied, choice overload

Too much choice makes people ask: What If?

CEO’s make decisions over 50% of the time, in 9 minutes or less; 38% in 9 minutes to 1 hour; and only 12% of those decisions take an hour or more; 5 times as many choices as tasks in a given week.  Be proactive vs reactive in your decisions and choices.  Spend time on the choices that matter most.  Be choosy about choosing.

http://sheenaiyengar.com/all/choosingexercise/

Make a Choice: Choosing is an art.  It does not look the same to all eyes, nor do we all agree on its purpose.  Though we can learn from other people, there is no simple formula.  We do not experience the same results.  In order to do it well [choose] it requires you to face yourself, you must rummage within yourself, etc.  We don’t all look at the choices the same way.

A great leader must question choices and look for new ways to achieve the goals.  Choices have limitations; you must be willing to relinquish it in order to appreciate its true power.

Face reality of hard work and humility.  Recognize the worth of something even if you have more than you need.  You loose the value of that which is free if you don’t appreciate it.

A leader is someone who can live with nothing, yet have everything.  A dreamer with a plan.

Write your own story, choose with wisdom and compassion.  You are mastering the art of choosing.

Review of my top nuggets:

  • Choice is the most powerful tool in your hands.
  • Spend time on the choices that matter most.
  • Be choosy about choosing.
  • Question choices.

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012…Roland Fryer

May 21, 2012

I attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012 Event again this year via simulcast at Morning Chapel CME Church in Fort Worth on Friday, May 4th, 2012.  I really enjoyed the awesome speakers and of course, I always have my own takeaways, nuggets, and favorite quotes from speakers!  I am going to highlight these over the next few blog posts. The topic this year was on Choices.

Dr. Roland Fryer

You can’t eat prestige.

8th Grade test scores show us a lot about education and skills when you compare them when they are 40.  Current teachers are now more educated, have masters, make double the income, have less the number of students and flat achievement results.

Teach us…tell us how we can fix it.  Watch and hang out so you can get the recipe.  Make them feel like superstars.  Test to see what you don’t know and teach what you don’t know or need to know more of.  Do small group training.  One on one coaching.  High expectations.  No excuses.  People live up or down to our expectations.  Do the work.  We know the work.  If it’s so obvious, then why don’t we do it?  Educate the most vulnerable.

Personal Responsibility.  You must develop yourself so that you can develop others.  Our talk is more sophisticated but the situation is the same.  Elevate the conversation to a purpose, for a solution, the arguments have gone on long enough, show me the data on how it works.  Hold our leaders accountable.  Show people what is possible to get them past the feeling that it can’t be done.  They have to be encouraged.

Tough love.  Let them know that you understand the situation but that they must keep on.  We need to know in real-time where you are.  Keep evaluating.  Take the test.  Grow.  Learn.  Change.

Do we have what it takes to make these changes?  We are going to have to figure out how to educate the most vulnerable.

Review of my top nuggets:

  • Watch and hang out so you can get the recipe.
  • Educate the most vulnerable.
  • You must develop yourself so you can develop others.
  • Evaluate. Test. Grow. Learn. Change.

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012…Soledad O’Brien

May 16, 2012

I attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012 Event again this year via simulcast at Morning Chapel CME Church in Fort Worth on Friday, May 4th, 2012.  I really enjoyed the awesome speakers and of course, I always have my own takeaways, nuggets, and favorite quotes from speakers!  I am going to highlight these over the next few blog posts. The topic this year was on Choices.

Soledad O’Brien

As a journalist, I wrote stories about events, people, and issues that were “stuck”…interviewed people [famous and not so famous] learning most from the regular people…documentaries…conversations…

True leadership happens in conversations.  Often by people who feel their stories are ignored.

There is bravery when you recognize that people don’t mean what they say.  Move through life with dignity and people will follow your lead.

Be present when the moment calls.  Be steady.  Don’t run.  Analyze how people rise up and when people fall down.  Set out to do with all the power you have.

Decide to lead.  Decide to have a voice to stand up.  Take a stand for justice, even if others do not agree.

True leadership is having to take a very different path.  True leadership is going off script.  True leadership is about blunt conversations.  True leadership is not about change that comes tomorrow or the next day – real history making change takes time, but it comes.

Supporting the culture and affirming the change…trust…listen to others…have opinions about right and wrong…share and build connections with those that you disagree with, to build peace and civility.

Conscience must ask the question: Is it right?

 

Review of my top nuggets:

  • Be steady. Don’t run.
  • Decide to lead.
  • True leadership is going off script.
  • Change takes time.

 

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012…John Maxwell

May 15, 2012

I attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012 Event again this year via simulcast at Morning Chapel CME Church in Fort Worth on Friday, May 4th, 2012.  I really enjoyed the awesome speakers and of course, I always have my own takeaways, nuggets, and favorite quotes from speakers!  I am going to highlight these over the next few blog posts. The topic this year was on Choices.

John Maxwell

The choices we make dictate the lives we live.  You must have your own personal growth plan. Transformation must start in the life of the leader.  We make a decision that is important and then we manage it the rest of your life.  Growth is not automatic, it’s intentional.  You grow on purpose.  Your life can be changed!

The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership work because they are laws.  Laws don’t care.  They don’t ask if you will buy in.

New Book: The 15 Laws of Personal Growth (this book is coming out in October 2012).

The Law of Intentionality = Growth doesn’t just happen. Grow on purpose.  You have to make a choice to grow.  There is a choice you have to make in everything you do…in the end, the choice you make, makes you. Put your money where your values are.  You want to change your challenges, difficulties, problems, everything around us, but you don’t want to change yourself.  Leadership is a process of intentionality…Do It Everyday!  The secret of your success is determined by your daily agenda!  Be intentional everyday.  You either are repairing or preparing.  Have a Simple Plan.  Basic Plan.  Practical Plan. Applicable Plan.  Do it now, now what I should do or gonna do.  Current Plan.  You plan is uphill all the way.

The Law of Diminishing Return = By putting off what you should do, you’ll never do it.  The longer you don’t do it, the higher the chance we won’t do it.

The Law of Awareness = You must know yourself to grow yourself.  Invest in yourself…why should someone else invest in you if you don’t invest in yourself?

Requirement: What is expected or required of me?

Return: What gives me a return?  What do I do well?  Put your effort and energy, and growth to your strengths!  Weak becomes average after effort.

Rewarding: What is rewarding to me?  We migrate to what we like to do!  It brings life to me.  These bring passion = the phenomenal energy.

The Law of Environment = Growth thrives in conducive surroundings…one that is conducive to our challenge of growth.  To create a growth environment: Where others are ahead of me; A place where I am continually challenged; Where my focus is continually forward; A place where the atmosphere is affirming; A place where I’m out of my comfort zone [but never out of your gift zone]; Where you wake up excited; Failure is not my enemy; Where other people are growing; Where people desire [wanting & willing to change] change and they can only grow with change; Where growth is modeled, encouraged and required!

You can’t lock out greatness!  Become the person you want to become…with the keys to personal growth, unlock the door and walk out of that cell!

Review of my top nuggets:

  • The choices we make dictate the lives we live.
  • There is a choice you have to make in everything you do…in the end, the choice you make, makes you.
  • You must know yourself to grow yourself.
  • Growth thrives in conducive surroundings.  Create a growth environment.

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012…Marcus Buckingham

May 14, 2012

I attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012 Event again this year via simulcast at Morning Chapel CME Church in Fort Worth on Friday, May 4th, 2012.  I really enjoyed the awesome speakers and of course, I always have my own takeaways, nuggets, and favorite quotes from speakers!  I am going to highlight these over the next few blog posts. The topic this year was on Choices.

Marcus Buckingham

Be authentic.  It’s your most precious and most important commodity.  Who are you?  Be you!  Most people believe that there is a perfect way to lead and if you meet enough of these attributes then you’re the best leader (referring to competency models).  What is authentic with one leader looks forced with another.

Study leaders.  Transfer concepts.  Catch excellence and reflect it back.  Most people miss the concepts and go to the technique.  The techniques of one leader are hard to transfer to another.  Leadership is not easily transferred.  It must be individualized.

What is your leadership algorithm?  What is your edge [comparative advantage and techniques], to stand out?  The Stand Out Assessment will measure you on 9 strengths…you will have and be defined by the top 2 you are the strongest on.

Stand Out Assessment Strength Roles:

Advisor – Practical, concrete thinker, problem solver, pragmatic

Connector – Points out and brings out the best in each of you

Creator – What do I understand?  I’m thinking.  Need time.

Equalizer – What is the right thing to do?  Moral commitments.  You have responsibilities to one another.  You want accountability and responsibility.  You do consistently what you say you will do and you create consistency.

Influencer – Each conversation is a sale and you have an agenda, move to act, you do it through charm

Pioneer – What’s new?  What’s next? Let’s go.  It’s a friendly place.

Provider – Are you okay? Create an environment about care, well-being, creativity, innovation.

Stimulator – Create energy, influence the rest, you’re an emotional giver, you give strength and energy.

Teacher – You ask how can I learn? You see everyone as a work in progress to you no one is ever finished.

What would you do?  Is how other people see you by what you do accidentally or deliberately.  Every leader is different. What is between your ears is what needs to be shared.  There is no perfect leadership profile.  You need practices and information to HELP you!!! They [your practices] are not the best, they just are…you are you [the same person] but you just get better.  Come back better!  Be the most sophisticated user of yourself that is possible.

Don’t bless yourself with uniqueness – make it useful.  How do you take what is unique about yourself and make it useful?  The challenge and choice as a leader, is to make what is unique about you useful.

 

Review of my top nuggets:

  • Be authentic.
  • Catch excellence and reflect it back.
  • Other people see you by what you do accidentally or deliberately.
  • Don’t bless yourself with uniqueness – make it useful.

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012…Angela Ahrendts

May 11, 2012

I attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012 Event again this year via simulcast at Morning Chapel CME Church in Fort Worth on Friday, May 4th, 2012.  I really enjoyed the awesome speakers and of course, I always have my own takeaways, nuggets, and favorite quotes from speakers!  I am going to highlight these over the next few blog posts. The topic this year was on Choices.

Angela Ahrendts

Trust is how we lead our company.  Reinforce your culture and lead by intuition, be connected, compassionate, intuitively lead, make choices. It is our job to put the right people in the right positions in order to win.  You have to trust their values and leadership…and must share the same values and vision, on all levels!  You have to use all expertise to execute but you can’t do this without trust.  You have to create a culture on what’s best for the company, the people, “the Brand”…it gets rid of self and the ego.  Intuition will empower people…we value feeling over knowledge. Leaders have to look forward.

Don’t ever forget where you come from…your heritage and your values.  Our vision is that the true measure of our success will be by the lives we have touched and their success.  Your culture touches other people.  intuition is the greatest output of trust and a strong culture.

Don’t get intimidated by how fast things are going.

Protect, explore and inspire. Use your instincts.  It will build trust in your team.  Trust empowers people.

Follow your instincts.  Reinforce your values.  Have a laser point of view.

 

Review of my top nuggets:

  • You must share the same values and vision.
  • Don’t ever forget where you came from…your heritage or your values.
  • Trust empowers people.
  • Follow your instincts. Reinforce your values. Have a laser point of view.

Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012…Tim Tebow

May 9, 2012

I attended the Chick-Fil-A Leadercast 2012 Event again this year via simulcast at Morning Chapel CME Church in Fort Worth on Friday, May 4th, 2012.  I really enjoyed the awesome speakers and of course, I always have my own takeaways, nuggets, and favorite quotes from speakers!  I am going to highlight these over the next few blog posts. The topic this year was on Choices.

Tim Tebow

People respect you when you put it all on the line.

A leader is someone you can influence.  Everyone can be a leader.

Consistently work hard.  Make the most of it.  Stand up!

At the end of the day…we have to know that it doesn’t matter whether we win or lose, or someone writes a bad article about me; I know whose I am.

Mission Statement:  Bring faith, hope and love to those needing a brighter day in their darkest hour.

People say:  I’m not a role model.  Yes you are, you just aren’t a very good one.  I want to be a role model for someone.  I want to invest in their lives.  Your platform can make a difference.

It is the wrong approach to have an attitude of you can’t wait to get this day done, get practice over, get done with workouts, get free time to go hang out and relax, get home, get to play, get off work, quit, get out of whatever. You need to wake up with the attitude on how you can improve yourself today and that you want to make an impact in someone else’s life today.  It will change your day and your life.

You have to love what you do.  You have to be passionate about what you do…a passion is not just motivation or have a hype about it.  Whether you feel good or bad you will still do it!  You have to be willing to sacrifice.

If someone’s watching you, then there is someone you can influence.

 

Review of my top nuggets:

  • People respect you when you put it all on the line.
  • Your platform can make a difference.
  • You have to be passionate about what you do…not just motivated or have a hype about it.
  • You have to be wiling to sacrifice.