dream

Anything

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 1 min.

Remember, as a kid, being told that we can be anything we want? It seemed as though our teachers, parents, grandparents, television show hosts, uncles, and aunts couldn’t get enough of telling us this. Then, at some point, they stopped. Maybe they thought we should know it by now. Or maybe they thought we stopped dreaming when we were teenagers. But I think they are mistaken. Thus this public service announcement.

For all your current dreams and for those you will be dreaming up someday soon: you can be, do, or have anything you set your mind to. You’ll likely go for the things that are exciting to you and helpful to others. Set aside your “yeah, buts,” follow the good feelings of those dreams toward their fruition, and act as inspired along the way.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: And if you can’t recall ever being told this as a kid, that’s fine. Just re-read the public service announcement as often as needed and keep acting on the good feelings.

 

Today’s photo credit: The Wandering Angel cc

nudge

Nudge Your Career (and your organization’s strategy) Back Into Alignment

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Strategy, Sweetspot
Reading time: 2 min.

When we are in our SweetSpot, work ceases to be a stress or struggle.

Where there is stress or struggle, we are out of our SweetSpot. That means we are misaligned in one or more of these four ways:

  • We are not using enough of our talents,
  • We are not engaging enough with and seeing enough rewards from our care-abouts,
  • We are not solving enough compelling problems for other people or groups of people, and/or
  • We are not having enough of our needs, wants, and desires met.

Sometimes, we need only give our selves a nudge in the right direction.

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

PS: The last one, “not having enough of our needs, wants, and desires met,” is the most common misalignment. And often we are unaware of it. We feel bad and justify it with “yeah, but…” statements such as, “Yeah, but, I can’t make the kind of money I want to in that career.” What are your “yeah, buts”?

PPS: Our organizations can be out of alignment with their SweetSpots, too. We can nudge them back by aligning the organization’s strategy with the its talents, care-abouts, needs/wants/desires, and with the compelling problems it solves for other people and groups of people.

 

Today’s photo credit: Sarah Fagg cc

meaning

The Source of Meaningful Work

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Strategy, Sweetspot
Reading time: 2 min.

Deficiency, or rather the elimination of it, is our source for meaningful work.

We tend to see life, work, the world, and (secretly) ourselves as deficient in one or more of only these six ways.

  • There is too much ignorance. Life, work, and the world would be better when we pause to understand before acting. We are driven by understanding.
  • There is too much lack (of time, money, or anything, really). Life, work, and the world would be better when we set goals, take practical steps to get there, and measure ourselves along the way. We are driven by utility.
  • There is too much ugliness (of things, systems, and ideas). Life, work, and the world would be better when we drink in the beauty of life and design everything (concrete or conceptual) for completeness and enjoyment. We are driven by aesthetics.
  • There is too much separation. Life, work, and the world would be better when we realize we are all in this together and we choose to help each other out. We are driven by unity.
  • There is too much weakness. Life, work, and the world would be better when we coordinate and consolidate our power with strong leadership. We are driven by power.
  • There is too much tumult. Life, work, and the world would be better when we find, live & work by, and encourage others to live & work by the same, time-tested views, truths, and approaches. We are driven by tradition.

Our own career and our organizations’ strategies are most meaningful, compelling, and rewarding when we help other people and groups of people to correct those of these deficiencies that we notice the most.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: We can apply these insights with some inquiry. We can explore how our careers (self) and strategies (organization) already align with the things that drive us the most. And we can ask, “What can we keep doing, start doing, and stop doing to be more aligned with those things?”

 

Today’s photo credit: Sandra Fauconnier cc

network

The Networking 20-60-20

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Hiring, Job search, Leading, Sales and Influence
Reading time: 2 min.

Many of us fear networking. We often think people will feel put upon or even angry if we ask them for help. And that may be true for perhaps 20% of the people out there. For various reasons, they just don’t want to be bothered.

That means that about 80% of the people out there want to help you.

Around 20% of the people out there are excited to help. They are honored that you asked. They will happily introduce you to others. They may even follow up with you to check in and offer more insights or connections.

The remaining 60% are also happy to help if you make it easy for them. Here are some “make it easy” steps you can follow. Instead of asking when they are available, give them a list of specific times to choose from. Pick a location (including over the phone or video chat) that is convenient for them. Promise and follow through on your promise to keep conversations focused and brief (say, twenty minutes for a phone call, thirty minutes for a coffee, an hour for a lunch, or whatever works for them). Be prepared to go over that time if they wish. Prepare your questions prior to the meeting. Catch up with them; learn what they are focused on this quarter and this year. Offer any information or connections that they might find helpful. Be warm and friendly.

Above all, plan on most people wanting to help you.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Because we likely can’t know whether a person is in the first 20%, the last 20%, or the middle 60%, use the “make it easy” steps for everyone.

PPS: When you bump into someone who doesn’t want to help, just graciously thank them for their time. No need to burden ourselves with judgements of them or us.

 

Today’s photo credit: Jun cc

flip

How To Choose Your Next Career, Project, or Strategy

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Strategy, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1 min.

Should we go for strategy A or B? Career This or That? Project X or Y?

When we are not in our SweetSpot, the best we can do to make such choices is to build a list of pros and cons. Or maybe we can flip a coin.

When we know our SweetSpot, we can generate lots of options that would fit us fine. It won’t matter what options we take.

You see, anything that meets the criteria set out by our (personal or organizational) SweetSpot is, by definition, perfect.

 

In your corner,

Mike

Today’s photo credit: Nicu Buculei cc

deep

Go Ahead, Look Deeper

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Success
Reading time: 2 min.

Why are you doing what you are doing in your work and life?

If we scratch just beneath the surface of our answers to this question, we see something remarkable if not a bit unnerving. Many of our reasons for why we do what we do are imported. We have adopted our answers to the question, “Why?” from our parents, peers, and the public-at-large.

Of course, there’s nothing wrong with being inspired by or taking our motivation cues from others. It’s when we do so unwittingly or exclusively that we run into trouble.

You see, we each have a mind and heart that knows what’s really meaningful to us. From within come our own passions, talents, desires, and our hopes for the world. If we look just past our inherited reasons why, we will find and embrace these creative, delicious, and fulfilling sources of meaning.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: Have no fear to go deeper. Some worry that learning what really makes us tick will mean we have to give up some parts of our lives that we love. Nope. Not these days, anyway; we are long past the time when a life of meaning meant sacrifice. As we look deeper, we will likely see that our families, our friends, our position, our house, car, and other trappings take on even richer meanings. Go ahead and look.

Today’s photo credit: Mark Strozier via photopin cc

doc

Career Checkup

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1 min.

The criteria: Our work is successful and meaningful to the extent that it uses our talents, engages our passions, meets our needs/wants/desires, and helps others (individuals and/or organizations) solve problems that we find compelling or interesting.

With these criteria in mind, let’s do a career checkup. Explore the following questions. Write down your answers.

How would you rank your current work against those four criteria? How could you adjust your current work to better match these criteria? What projects, roles, or businesses could you do next that would best match these criteria? What obstacles might stand between you and your next career move? Finally, how might you navigate past those obstacles?

So, Doc, how is the patient doing?

 

In your corner,

Mike

 

Today’s photo credit: Dr.Farouk via photopin cc

expertise

We Need Not Be (the) Experts

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Anypreneur, Career
Reading time: 1 min.

A high-tech sales and marketing executive joining a law firm. An English major starting a mobile apps company. A teacher running an international shipping company.

Contrary to what many believe, we don’t have to be experts in a field to start or join a business in that field. We can contribute our talents to build or help build something of value in any field.

The only requirement is that we stay firmly planted in our SweetSpot.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: …an engineer becoming a business coach…

 

Today’s photo credit: eriwst via photopin cc

SweetSpot 2014

Four Ways To Know You’re In the Right (or Wrong) Career

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Career, Sweetspot
Reading time: 1 min.

Work that doesn’t use your talents is work you should have others do.

Work that doesn’t engage your passions is a dead end.

Work that doesn’t meet your needs, wants, and/or desires is martyrdom.

Work that doesn’t solve compelling problems for other people or organizations is a hobby.

Work that engages all four of these factors–talents, passions, needs/wants/desires, and compelling problems–is work in your SweetSpot. It is meaningful, fun, profitable, and rewarding.

Which is nice.

 

In your corner,

Mike

rue de notre dame

What Does Your Personal Indicator Say?

Posted on Leave a commentPosted in Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 2 min.

Pause a moment. What physical sensations do you notice in response to this question: “If you could live the life and career of your dreams, what would it feel like?”

Common feelings people report here include a buzz, tingling, warmth, lightness, or sensations of relief, release, or calm. They notice these sensations in their chest, belly, or pelvis, down their arms or legs, up their back, neck, or head, across their shoulders, or into their fingers and toes.

Whatever you feel is your personal indicator–like a GPS–telling that you are on track. When you feel this feeling of yours, you are thinking and heading in the right direction.

What’s really amazing is that you can turn it around. If you pause to generate this feeling, you shift your thinking then your actions back in the direction of your dreams.

 

In your corner,

Mike

PS: How can you generate this feeling? Simple: go back and ask yourself that question again.

PPS: “Nothing” or bad feelings like tension or weight are other common feelings people report. This is our personal indicator that we are bumping into a habit of thought about how impossible it is to live a dream life or career. Try writing down even a few elements of what would be your dream. Then ask yourself that question again.

PPPS: You may have noticed: living a dream life or career may or may not be possible. It’s not the point, really. The point is all the joy and success that are available to us now and every instant along the way.

 

Today’s photo credit: caribb via photopin cc