I have nothing to say!?

December 29, 2009 at 3:33 PM | Posted in opportunities, writer's block | Leave a comment
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What do you do about writer’s block??!! Could it possibly be that I have nothing to say? NOTHING!!?

I doubt it, but I find myself sitting down to write after a week of family and fun feeling like I don’t have a single thing to share.

I guess I just found a topic I can write about! How do you handle writer’s block? Even if it is temporary, 1 day, 2 days… it can feel like it will never end.

I have tried a few things that seem to work-

  • Write about something you are thinking about it – even if it is the color of the car or how dirty the car is- just getting words to flow will start to release the tension.
  • Write about something you are passionate about- it might not have anything to do with the current task on which you are blocked but, again, it starts the flow (a few months ago I babbled on about going to the airport and the next day the writer’s block was gone).
  • Just walk away and STOP worrying about it! I know it sounds impossible. Again, it’s about relaxing.
  • Maybe, just maybe you should be writing about something else. I realize that’s not helpful if you have an assignment and are blocked on the topic. Try sitting down to see what does flow. I’ve had moments when something else was just burning to flow out of the pen (keyboard). Let it flow out, don’t bother to edit or perfect the content. In my case, and a clients’, as soon as that information made it to the page the assigned content came easily.

(It turns out the content that was ‘in the way’ turned into a fabulous article!)

Those are a few ideas that have worked for my clients’ and me. I’d love to hear what has worked for you! Share your thoughts.

There was a little growling, and a lot of wary circling…

December 23, 2009 at 9:21 PM | Posted in change | Leave a comment
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I’ve been watching my dogs try to adjust to the visiting puppy creating mayhem in the house. There is a little bit of growling, a lot of wary circling, no sleeping (because you have to watch every move the new puppy makes), little trust in her antics and a whole lot of basic upset.

This got me thinking about how I adapt to change. IF I adapt to change. I’d like to think I adapt well to change. I will warily circle around it until I figure out what it might mean and how the change will affect my business or personal life. Sometimes I don’t trust what’s happening until I do some investigating and, on occasion, there has been some pretty big upset.

My upset is usually short lived. It only lasts as long as it takes me to figure out WHY I am upset. After all, we are all wary of losing control and, many times, change represents some lose of control. The question you need to ask is- How do I regain control?

Not control in the – I MUST maintain control over every aspect of every piece of my life!!! sense. But the kind of control that allows you to make educated decisions, to focus on things you can influence and to make the best of what might feel like a tricky situation. Sometimes that is all you can ask for.

Adaptability and releasing control are things I have learned. They are wonderful skills and are easier for some to learn than others. I call them skills because you can learn them. These two skills have made a tremendous difference in situations that I would, at one time, have found intolerable. Now, I simply roll with the flow, find ways to do with what I have. I always presume something positive will develop.

I try to instill that same mindset with my clients.

1. You can become more adaptable and release control
2. You do need to work at it
3. Staying adaptable and flexible will always take awareness if it’s not part of your natural personality
4. It WILL get easier
5. It is SO VERY worth it!

Everything becomes just a bit easier when you allow the Universe to take some of the responsibility for running things smoothly.

Do you just give up and stop trying? Of course not. Take directed action, dot all of the I’s and cross all of the T’s, allow that it might not go exactly to plan and that is ok. There are far worse things that could happen than your plan going askew.

Realizing that an unscheduled change in my plans was not a disaster, rather simply a speed bump to be adapted to, allowed me a tremendous sense of freedom. Suddenly I didn’t have to worry about the tiniest detail, if there is only 1 color of Sharpie available for my speech I will certainly find a way to adapt.

If just the thought of relinquishing control and happily adapting to a change makes you shudder with dismay I encourage you to take another look. Maybe you could benefit from releasing a bit of control? I know I did.

Baby, (I’m grateful) for the cold outside!

December 21, 2009 at 9:46 AM | Posted in gratitude, opportunities | 2 Comments
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Baby, is cold outside! Here in North Carolina it was 20 degrees Fahrenheit when I let the dogs out this morning. Cold enough to make me want to crawl back into bed!

Instead, I took a moment to appreciate the cold. The way my breath curled into beautiful strands of mist in the early morning sunlight. The quiet of the woods, the crunch of leaves, frost on the windows. As long as I know I can go inside to feel warm and cozy the trappings of a cold day are beautiful.

If I didn’t have a warm place to go I imagine the cold day would be more of a challenge than a work of art. I was reminded, again, to be grateful. I am grateful for the roof over my head, for the heat, the food on my table, all of the things that make daily life possible.

I am also grateful for my business. My clients, the flexibility I have because I work for myself, the fact that I do something I love every day, the knowledge that I can help someone create the business and life they want… I could go on but you get the idea.

It may sound airy fairy, but five minutes spent looking at all of the good things about your business can completely change your attitude for the rest of the day. You shift into a more positive frame of mind that allows you to approach everything from that perspective.

You might not have as many clients as you would like, but you have clients. You might not have made your quarterly sales goals, but you made sales. You didn’t make the 10 calls you wanted to make yesterday, but you made 8 of them. Focus on what has gone well and what is going well.

This is a wonderful time of year to take a few minutes and be grateful, for everything you have in your business and personal life. I encourage you to make this a daily habit. First thing in the morning, before you log on to your computer, as your pouring your morning cup of coffee- just breath and be grateful. Make a list in your head of everything you appreciate. The list might include many of the same items every day and that’s ok. My list always includes the dogs and my ‘significant other’.

If you’re really feeling adventurous do a bit of dreaming. How would it feel to have all of the speaking engagements you want? To have your client calendar full 4 weeks in advance? To double your sales numbers for the quarter?

I am grateful for all of YOU!!

What can we learn from an Army Navy gathering?

December 15, 2009 at 1:33 PM | Posted in leadership | Leave a comment
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Saturday I went to a gathering of alumni from the U. S. Naval Academy and West Point held for the Army Navy game. If you’re not familiar with the service academies this is the biggest game of the year and there is no love lost between the groups.

Those of you familiar with the Ohio/Michigan rivalry in college football know the nature of the rivalry.

It’s a good-natured rivalry but there isn’t much mixing at the gatherings.
Why am I writing about a college football rivalry? What does it have to do with speakers, entrepreneurs and authors?

The Naval Academy and West Point groom leaders. These are the future leaders of the US Navy, Army and Marine Corp. You are a leader. I saw something at the Army Navy gathering we can all learn from.

After the game, Navy won (I will admit to being a Navy fan!), a Naval Academy graduate went over to a table of more than 10 West Point graduates and asked if he could join them. Not to rub it in but to get to know them better. They very graciously invited him to join them.

While there was some good-natured ribbing, they discovered common ground among the people around the table. They identified common interests, common backgrounds, a love of family and friends. By the time the Naval Academy graduate left the West Point table he had made new friends. A common respect had been established between all of the men. Plans were discussed to get together for the Army Navy Lacrosse game in the spring.

It might not be a monumental breakthrough or a global shift in politics, but all of these individuals exhibited leadership traits. They all were open to a different point of view; to reaching out to someone they didn’t know, didn’t understand and just might learn from. They were willing to open their minds to the possibility that their ‘opponent’ might have great traits and become a friend.

We can all exhibit these traits. People are watching, individuals learn from our actions. Shouldn’t we, as leaders, strive to create common ground with ‘opponents’ to create collaboration? To reach across invisible boundaries?

I should clarify; simply behaving a certain way can easily come across as disingenuous. We need to embrace these traits. Truly live as leaders, not only when we are in public, but all of the time.

For me, it was another great reminder to always remain open to differing opinions regardless of the situation I am in.

Remove the clutter, open to Opportunity

December 10, 2009 at 3:28 PM | Posted in opportunities | 2 Comments
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I’ve been busy removing clutter from my office. Things that have accumulated from previous roles seemed to be everywhere. Information I am no longer using, or that could be found in electronic form was taking up space where new information could go.

I’ve found that when I remove clutter from a space, or from my mind, I open up to numerous opportunities. There is something about creating a blank space that allows creativity to flow. If I’m no longer focusing on something in that space it seems that something else something with new positive power and forward momentum always fills it up.

Recently I let go of many of the ‘shoulds’ I heard I just HAD to do to have a successful business. The immediate affect was a sense of relief, a weight lifted off of my shoulders. I was no longer trying to live up to what everyone else said I ‘should’ do, instead I was finding the things that worked for ME and putting them into action.

Guess what happened? I felt great and business improved! And continues to improve!

As a speaker and a coach, even as an entrepreneur, authenticity is so important to how we are received by others. How authentic can you be if you are always working on someone else’s ‘shoulds’?

Now, I’m doing the yearly office cleaning. Opening space for new information, new opportunities, new growth!

Out with the Old. I am so grateful for what the Old has taught me, how it has focused my business, and what I learned from it. I am ready to take those learnings and move forward to new opportunities. Are you?

Time management this season

December 7, 2009 at 1:25 PM | Posted in time management | Leave a comment
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This time of year time management might seem like a distant memory. It’s just as important now, maybe more important, than any other time of the year.

Most of us are preparing for some kind of festivity and, if you are like me, you can get completely swept up in the fun of the season! And yet, I still have to make sure my business stays on track going into the new year. A little planning can make a big difference.

My goals for the end of December include launching a new website, joyfully hosting 4 people and 1 extra dog for a week, and launching a new marketing strategy. It would be so easy for me to focus completely on the preparation for visitors and celebration of the season that the business items could be completely forgotten.

I’ve decided to manage my time by setting aside a certain amount of time every day to devote to business. For me, putting business first thing in the morning helps guarantee I meet my goals AND allows me to focus the rest of the day on fun seasonal activities (around coaching appointments, of course).

Manage your time- whether it’s 60 minute increments, full days or blocks of hours focused on your business and other things that need to get done – it will make a huge difference in how successful you are every day.

Keep the end game in mind- the success of you and your business!

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