In my hometown, the season of Fall is in full bloom. The beautiful and bold yellow, reds, and orange leaves have made their debut. The temperatures have chilled off and the wool socks and hot cocoas are being gratefully enjoyed in my home. There are pumpkins on the porch and delicious Fall flavored candles lit each day.
One of my favorite quotes from Henry David Thoreau is this one:
“Live in each season as it passes; breathe the air, drink the drink, taste the fruit, and resign yourself to the influences of earth.”
I love Fall and everything about this season. (Can you tell?)
Seasons changing in our own lives is just as real as the changing of the seasons of the earth. The one constant in life is change and like the thought by Thoreau suggests, embrace each season as it comes.
Although change can tend to bring up fears and discomfort, what is really at play is embracing the uncertainty of the unknown – this is true whether your fear is of failure or of success. When we are leaving behind what is familiar and heading into unknown territory it’s common and normal for fear and second guessing to come forward for you to address.
I invite you to face the fear, walk through it, and you will see that you are stronger, more capable, and simply more fantastic than you previously knew.
Now, some changes come to us that are unwelcomed, unplanned for, and simply hurt. This could be loss in any form – loved ones, job, health, relationship, you name it. Loss is a grieving process of letting go of what once was in your life and/or relationships. I honor that sacred space and there is a need for grief and healing. If you’re in a major transition, please make sure to reach out and get support around you.
I do know that even with the greatest of heartaches, there are opportunities for growth and claiming of a new chapter of life. I have learned even in my own deepest heartaches in certain seasons of my life that even those heartbreaks contained powerful lessons for me to soak in.
Whether the change you’re facing this season is of a major magnitude or the smaller, move the needle type of changes, here are a few questions to help you navigate change:
What is this here to teach me? What is the lesson of this experience?
What’s the gift of this new season?
Why am I resisting this change? What’s the fear really about? What if I could surrender versus struggle with this change?
What would I rather experience or create in my life?
What small change can I make today that with time will have the greatest influence?
I also find that activities like increased self care (exercise, rest, & nutrition) and surrounding ourselves with positive and loving people, books, or materials can help during the change process.
I would invite you to consider that change is also to be celebrated too, right? All to often we’re resisting change or in fear of it. Yet consider this, for many of you if your life was the exact same 10 years from today, you would be miserable! Change gives life a lot of juice, excitement, new adventure & discovery, and allows for even greater things, people, and opportunities to come to us. Change can get a bad rap, but it’s also that same change that gives you growth, meaning, purpose, and opportunities!
Consider this…just what if life was always working for your highest good? Hmmm….
Just what if we could trust a little more and doubt a little less?…of life, others, ourselves, etc.?
Just what if we could resign ourselves (surrender) to the season we are in, even if it’s painful and ouchy and scary and gleam the juicy gems and insights that are waiting to be seen?
Just what if change really does come bearing gifts?
I echo the classic sentiments expressed many years ago…
“To everything there is a season and a purpose under heaven.”
There is purpose to the season you are in. There are many things to be grateful for no matter what swirls around us. Embrace the changes you’re facing, allow them to teach you, and celebrate that life has great things in store for you (uncertainty wrapped in excitement).
Whether you’re attending a local one hour networking meeting to a full blown multi-day convention, attending live events is one of the best and quickest ways to grow your own business.
Networking meetings and live seminars are great for two obvious reasons:
The seminar you’re attending is great for learning and growth.
The event you’re attending has other like minded, growth oriented people there to network with.
Although I too love social media and connecting online, there is nothing like meeting in person. It gives people the opportunity to connect and get a sense of someone quickly – which in turn can build trust and rapport faster than any other option.
I personally commit to attending a minimum of two events per year (many times more) for my own personal and professional growth. I plan for it and budget it in knowing that the investment in me is often returned ten fold. I invite you to do the same.
“An investment in knowledge pays the best interest.” – Benjamin Franklin
Per today’s Success Tip, I want to share with you a handful of strategies that can help you maximize your time and investment at the live events or meetings that you’re attending.
When applied, these strategies can create new business, sales, and income.
TIP #1: Do THIS Before You Go! The most popular phrase used when referring to networking is this: The fortune is in the follow up. It’s a cute phrase, but it’s also said so often because it’s true! Now, we already know this, right? But the challenge is doing it. So before you go, schedule time blocks into your calendar dedicated to “event follow up”. I find that already having it in my schedule – a planned priority – sets me up to succeed and it will do the same things for you too. See, when we get back from an event there is laundry and emails and all sorts of things to catch up on alongside of our already busy lives. We have the best of intentions to follow up, yet often those intentions and new warm business cards become dusty and stale underneath the busyness of life awaiting our return. “Success is scheduled” is a truer than true success strategy.
When is your next live event or networking meeting?
Grab your calendar now and schedule your follow up time in the days following it so it’s already there!
TIP #2: Know Your 15 Second Commercial. The most popular question you will be asked at your next live event, seminar, or networking meeting will be, “what do you do?” Plan on it. When it comes to sharing what you do, think of sharing the outcome or benefits that your product or service provides. I often share this phrase in my sales training, “Sell the Destination, not the Airplane.” People are buying destinations, not the airplane itself, make sense? Focus on what they get and receive. Create a powerful one or two line statement about what you do for others – their outcome in working with you. List out benefits and outcomes people experience and then utilize those in your sharing. Another way to think of this is every time someone asks you, “what do you do?” pretend they’ve really just asked you, “how do you help others?” By responding how we help others thrive and succeed we keep the spotlight on what we do for them. Keep it short and sweet – remember that we’re just wanting to engage, not overwhelm them with our entire story.
TIP #3: The Power of Intention. In showing up to any event, hold the intention or say a prayer to be of service to the people you will meet. I have had many cool “coincidences” of meeting just the right person that I can help or that can help me with having this mindset. All too often people see networking as “what can I get” yet the adage of show up to serve to focus on “what can I give” makes what Larry Benet, Networking Expert calls a VC – Value Creator. When you’re focused on adding value to people’s lives, you will have an abundance of opportunities and plenty of sales as you provide solutions for others. Whether it’s called prayer or intention in your world, draw upon it to help set the framework of how you’ll show up at the next event you attend…and watch the magic happen.
TIP #4: Increase Retention. All too often we attend a fabulous and inspiring seminar and take detailed notes, only to never see the notes again. To increase your retention, take even 5 minutes before going to bed that night to review your notes. This simply activity significantly increases your retention and therefore, odds of success by applying it. I find that especially if I’m attending a multi-day event, I plan to have a 15 minute evening review to maximize the investment I’ve made to be at that event. To go the extra mile, I like to review those notes once a week during personal study time over the following 30 days. Remember that success is scheduled? If remembering to review is challenging for you, put it in your schedule as a reminder to help you get the value and learning you went for.
TIP #5: Carry Blank Cards. Receiving anything in the snail mail these days stands out, doesn’t it? In the day of texts, emails, and tweets, to receive an actual card almost feels vintage – and it’s powerful. To help set yourself up for success, carry blank note cards with you in your purse or bag. I personally will carry a few in the book I’m reading or in my journal so when I find a few minutes, I can write a card right then and there. Especially when flight travel is involved, I enjoy journaling and writing cards to my new contacts on the flight home. By having them on you and while the meeting is top of mind, I like to ink those sentiments and get it in the mail.
TIP #6: Get Choosy! Although it’s possible and ideal to follow up with every new contact you made at your recent event or seminar, I invite you to pick 1-5 contacts that really stood out to you or that you had a great connection with to focus in on and follow up with. Meeting great people is awesome, following up with them is another. I find that for any goal in life, focus is the game changer to success and thriving. So pick who stood out most to you. Or who you have that “vibe” for. And then begin with building a real relationship with them. Often if we try to take on too much, we get overwhelmed and procrastinate and then do nothing. One person followed up with and a great relationship established is better than a million business cards collecting dust.
ach year around this time, I take a personal inventory of my annual goals. I find it’s a great time to acknowledge what’s working well and then explore what I’d like to change or work towards for the rest of the year.
I’d like to share a few coaching questions that can help you do the same thing.
First of all, think back over the last six months and identify what are your wins and victories?
Personally? Did you improve a skill, get organized, or commit to a morning ritual?
Professionally? Have you created a new product, updated your website, or taken a class to improve your sales skills?
Financially? Have you increased your income? Improved your close rate? Paid off debt or saved more income?
Health & Fitness? Have you done more green juicing or taken up running? Are you getting more rest at night or tried a new meditation practice?
Relationships? Have you invested more in your network or your spouse? Have you completed a relationship that was draining you? Perhaps you’ve worked on your listening skills or committed to date night?
Fun? Have you had some fun? Tried a new hobby or made new friends?
It’s so very easy in the conversation to immediately think of all things we either haven’t achieved yet or where we are missing the mark. I always encourage our minds to first focus on our many wins and victories before launching into setting new goals.
Remember, it’s always about PROGRESS, not perfection anyways.
I find that by beginning a goal inventory with the positive, I’ve deposited powerful fuel to inspire me to create more of what I want!
Now that we’ve acknowledge the positive, consider what you would like to achieve for the rest of 2013.
What would you like to experience more of in your life?
What one major professional goal achieved would launch you to the next level?
What one, simple, yet repetitive action will be your health focus? (juicing, rest, meditation, exercise)
What emotion do you want to feel on a more regular basis? (peace, aliveness, innovative, creative, etc).
What one distraction in your life or in your time do you need to reduce or eliminate to help you achieve your goals?
By answering these questions and doing an inventory of our lives, results, and desires, we become aware of what we want to consciously create in our lives and results.
I invite you this week or weekend to take an hour of personal time to reflect, journal, and/or meditate to become clear on what matters most to you and the desired changes that you want to implement.
Awareness, clarity, and decisions are the bedrock of creating an exceptional life!
Okay, phew! I just said it. I feel like I just jumped off the symbolic cliff with you. I just put it out there. And now I feel a bit vulnerable and free all at the same time.
I’ve been “thinking” about writing a book for a long time. People say that it’s good for business, great for credibility, and will open many doors. And while that’s true I assume, that isn’t my driving motivation.
Nearly six months ago I attended a women’s retreat and during a meditation by the ocean I had a divine, sacred experience where I felt called to share what’s in my heart. It’s as if a seed was then planted that has been gestating and it’s now beginning to come forth. It’s about me answering a call from my Divine, my heart and willing to walk in this path, even though it’s scares me and brings up lots of my unpretty stuff.
Last weekend I participated in a virtual workshop retreat to write a book in a weekend – it was awesome – great coaching, collaboration, and passion and I made significant progress. And then I hit the wall.
I’m aware that when we approach change and growth that our stuff or limiting beliefs can come up. I coach that everyday. So I was very logical about going into this weekend, yet then I hit my own wall. I was stuck, I was overwhelmed, feeling like I wanted to just check out and shut down.
As I got curious about what was up for me and gave voice to it, I became aware that my stuff sounded like this, “Who am I to write this book? I’m just a regular girl. What will others think of me?” And then the big one surfaced – “what if I can’t live up to my content (core success principles) all the time? I’m not perfect and I don’t claim to be. And I feel incredibly vulnerable putting myself out there.”
I cried. Hot tears cried. And then breathed. And then received some love and support from dear friends who “just happened” to reach out when the meltdown was happening, including my workshop partner & dear friend, Michelle. God is really so cool with how He puts people on our path in the moment we need them. And none of them “fixed” it for me – that’s my work with myself and my Maker. Yet held the love and space to say, “Tiff, it’s okay to be vulnerable. You’re writing this to honor a calling, honoring God. You’re writing this for those who are seeking it.” And then I breathed some more and felt a sense of peaceful calm. And went on to knock it out of the park.
Being vulnerable is the path of the courageous, the path of greatness.
Whether that be in the form of writing a book, taking a stand for a cause or beliefs we have, asking for a sale, communicating our needs to our partner, or any other form where we tell our own truth or take a real or perceived risk.
There are reactions we receive in putting ourselves out there – we could experience judgment, criticism, or rejection. We could also experience love, sales, connection, and fulfillment by willing to risk and be vulnerable.
It often appears that hiding our vulnerability – acting as if we’re tough, know it all, are perfectly put together, and stuffing or distracting our vulnerability – will protect us, yet in reality it limits us from living a more expressed life.
Last Spring I was introduced to a great thought leader, Brene Brown and her TED talk video. It moved me to the core. She now has a best selling book, “Daring Greatly” and has recently been featured on the popular Oprah program, Super Soul Sunday. This topic is trending big time. Take a watch and see why:
So I’m sharing with you what is up for me and creating my own path of vulnerability… so you can get the most out of the time you’ve invested in reading this article, take a breath of courage and consider for yourselves…
Where in my life or what in my life am I avoiding or putting off?
What one goal – greater connection, intimacy, writing your book, asking for that sale – do you know in your gut that you need to ask for or go for?
Are you willing to ask for what you want, to put yourself out there?
Yes, your work may be judged, like mine will be. Yes, your work will be praised, like mine will be. Yes, you may get a no, get turned down, told no, or have to make uncomfortable decisions. Yes, you may get a yes, get accepted, and get exactly what you wanted. We never know unless we’re willing to be vulnerable.
I have learned for myself that the more I am authentic and allow myself to share all of me, especially the vulnerable sides, that I experience life and connections at a fuller expression of living. Vulnerability makes life more beautiful…more real, deep, and alive! And that’s a choice I’m choosing to make.