Learning to Master the Art of Your Career

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living — whether you work in medicine or retail, law or construction, software engineering or writing — there’s an art and science to every career. Each profession has its scientific aspects, those more mechanical facets, rules, and methods you must know to succeed. Yet no matter how dry, straightforward, or technical, these professions also have creative qualities that foster critical thinking.

It doesn’t matter what you do for a living — whether you work in medicine or retail, law or construction, software engineering or writing — there’s an art and science to every career. Each profession has its scientific aspects, those more mechanical facets, rules, and methods you must know to succeed. Yet no matter how dry, straightforward, or technical, these professions also have creative qualities that foster critical thinking.

This dichotomy is the reason no two professionals within the same industry are identical. These people may work within their careers for the same amount of time, possibly went to similar schools, or perhaps have the same position at the same company. However, they differentiate themselves in the ways they apply creativity and critical thinking to their jobs.

This idea impacts our personal lives as well. Consider medical professionals with the same specialty. If all dentists were the same by virtue of having identical skill sets and nothing more, you would have no preference for whom you go to for a root canal. But this isn’t the case; you prefer your dentist over one you have never been to due to their individual touch.

A real-world example occurred with one of my brothers, as some years back he struggled with pain in his legs. He visited three different orthopedic surgeons, all with identical skill sets and backgrounds. The doctors examined my brother. One suggested invasive surgery and the second proposed a more exploratory surgery. Both of these were unfavorable options. It wasn’t until we saw the third orthopedic surgeon that creative critical thinking took place. The doctor took one look at him and asked if he always wore his leather belt around his hips in the same place. When my brother answered in the affirmative, the doctor recommended he switch belts, replacing his leather one with a softer, more elastic material. With this change, his ailments were cured within a week.

All three doctors had the same impressive credentials and experience in the science behind their specialties; however, the third doctor utilized creative critical thinking to problem-solve.

Whether you’re training or in any level of schooling for a career, the “science” of that field is where the education lies. You’re receiving a hard, factual, standardized education, based on data and a proven methodology. Likewise, whether it’s accounting or food service, you’re also being schooled in the best practices of your industry.

Even in the creative fields, you still learn both the science and the art of your craft in order to find professional success in it. Writers must learn grammatical and syntactical convention, but they also have to learn how to write something everyone must read. Musicians need to learn scales, notation, and instrumental technique, but they also need to learn how to touch the hearts and souls of listeners to achieve musical greatness.

So where does the “art” come into these fields?

Artistic aspects of a career are picked up by professionals through years of experience and another, more flexible, less standardized type of “education,” one of induction. The first method of becoming more creative within your career through personal and professional experience is somewhat obvious — the longer you do something, you’ll become better at problem solving and thinking “outside the box.”

The second method, the nonstandard educational method of developing intuitive insights coupled with creativity, involves gleaning the best-kept secrets and most well-honed, time-honored methods, the knowledge and wisdom of your profession from other professionals. These should be people who’ve already distinguished themselves through their own creativity. You might seek these people out, like a musician choosing to take lessons from one of his favorite players, or an entrepreneur asking the advice of someone who’s already established herself as a success in business. You might also stumble into these people during the course of your life, like having a captivating, inspirational professor or being trained by a capable manager who knows the secrets to making your job fun and interesting.

You can learn the science of your job from books, manuals, and classroom lessons and know that you will be good at what you do — but you need to learn the art from the artists of your field to become exceptional. This knowledge and wisdom transfer is key not only to success, but to a rewarding career as well. Not only does it provide professionals an essential balance of skills, it’s what keeps industries thriving and innovative. It’s what pushes us to compete with others by bettering ourselves and, in doing so, to push our very professions forward.

Pick up a copy of my latest best selling book The Anticipatory Organization to help shape your future and accelerate your success.

Thriving After A Layoff

You lost this job and that sucks. Now you have the opportunity to get more of what you want out of your next job!

We heard from many of you after our Surviving A Layoff post last week. Some of you mentioned that you were feeling stuck and unable to come up with a list of your top skills and strengths because you’re so drained from the experience of the layoff.

We get it. We’ve been there and we know it’s hard to think about the positive stuff when you’re in the midst of questioning whether you ever added value. And forget about possibility thinking, right?

So, we’d like to offer you a couple of small steps you can take this week to help you think about the skills you want to offer and the environment in which you’ll thrive.

We’ve seen that it can be easier to voice what you want by thinking about what you don’t want.

  • First, start with what you didn’t like about your job. Think about things like:
    • Skills used
    • Level of responsibility
    • Level of visibility
    • Level of stress
    • Pace of the work
    • Team dynamics
    • Projects
    • Processes
    • Commute
  • Now, if you’re able, think about what you did  like, using the above list as a prompt.

  • Finally, it can be powerfully helpful to reach out to colleagues, family (even young kids), and friends, and ask them, “What do I do well?”
    • This can feel awkward to do, so blame your coaches here at CSC . . . that can make it easier to ask.
    • You’ll likely start to see themes in the answers that people are giving you.

If you’ve sped through those steps and are wanting more, don’t forget about our recent Dream Job posts where we walk you through some additional ways to get clear about setting yourself up for success.

Remember, it’s important to be gentle with yourself if you’re struggling to move on. If you were talking to a dear friend, you wouldn’t say, “Just get over it!” You’d likely say, “I believe in you.” or “You can do this!”

Perhaps this experience will help to point you in the direction of where you’re supposed to go next. You lost this job and that sucks. Now you have the opportunity to get more of what you want out of your next job.

We believe in you!

Just a few sessions of Career Strategy Coaching
can help you get traction on identifying what’s next
and moving forward to make it happen.
Let us know if we can be helpful.

Surviving A Layoff

Keep moving forward – even if it’s just one small step.

Last week, we spent some time talking about how to prepare if you believe you may be laid off. This week, we want to speak to you about the normal response to a layoff and ways you can take care of yourself or support a friend or loved one who has been laid off.

If you’ve been laid off, you may find yourself wanting the feeling of trauma and disorientation to go away. It’s painful, uncomfortable, and demoralizing. And, it takes time and intentional focus to heal and move on.

After being laid off, you’ll likely experience many of the feelings and thoughts you’d associate with a death: feelings of grief, loss, helplessness, anger, rage, disorientation, depression, and anxiety. While unpleasant, these are all sane emotional responses to a layoff.

Because many of us get a sense of our identify and value from our jobs, we may feel that the world isn’t safe and then our confidence in ourselves becomes diminished.

Research about people who have been laid off show us that the pain in a layoff is also manifested physically. Research shows increased health issues after a layoff, from high blood pressure, insomnia, and cardiovascular problems, to nausea, stomach problems, and headaches.

If you or someone you care about has been laid off, this is the time to focus on self-care – all those things we know we need to do but don’t. Eating healthfully as often as you can, moving regularly, sleeping, and reaching out for support are all good self-care steps.

And, remember, you’re not alone!

We’d encourage you to reach out to some trusted friends and colleagues and talk about your experience. You may be surprised to find that there are people in your world who have also gone through (or are going through) a layoff.

It can help to lean on each other and keep each other motivated as you think about what’s next for you in your career.

If you’ve been laid off, here are some things
that can help you move forward.

  1. PAUSE. Take a moment to breathe and honor that this has been rocking.
  2. Allow yourself to have your emotions AND don’t let them overwhelm you. Consider talking with a trusted friend or family member, clergy member, therapist, or coach as you grieve and find your way to what is next.
  3. Find a person who can be a mirror to you to remind you that you’re a capable and successful person. Understanding your worth through other people’s eyes is truly inspiring.
  4. Keep moving forward – even if it’s just one small step.
  5. Use this time to reconnect with your life priorities and what brings you meaning and purpose.
    • Name the skills you love to offer to the world and the environment in which you thrive.
    • Then tell everyone you know, “I’m looking for an opportunity to bring these skills to an organization.” vs. “I’m looking for this job.”
      • If you name the job, that can stop the conversation with “I don’t know of any openings in that job.”
      • If, instead, you ask for help finding opportunities to bring your gifts and talents to an organization, they’ll often join you in considering who you might talk with about your interests.

You can’t always control what happens to you, but you can work on how you respond.

Treat yourself like you matter… because you do!

Been laid off? If you’d like to work together
on your career strategy, contact us today.
We’re here to support you in finding work you love
in an environment where you’ll thrive.

Preparing for a Layoff

We have incredible respect for people who are dealing with the possibility of a layoff. Facing the loss of a role that provides a great deal of your identity as well as the means for living, can be very challenging.

THERE ARE SEVERAL THINGS YOU CAN DO
IN THE FACE OF A POSSIBLE LAYOFF

Get support for the fear so you can pivot to taking action.

  • It’s important that you’re able to acknowledge how stressful a potential layoff is and how anxious it can make you.
  • Be sure to reach out to people who will honor your feelings while also supporting you in the pivot to action.

Do a quick inventory about what you love about your job and what you would change if you had the opportunity. 

    • Create a resume that represents you well and then tailor it for the specific opportunities you discover.
    • Being clear about what you love and want to continue to do and what you aren’t as satisfied with can help you as you look around for other opportunities within and outside the company.

Within the company:

      • Explore what opportunities are available should you need to look.
      • Sometimes the opportunities aren’t very appealing, but if they let you stay in a company that you want to work for, they can be a stepping stone until you find a better fit.
      • Knowing the skills you love to offer and the environment in which you thrive can help you find a role that’s more in keeping with your current interests and skills and the threat of layoff may be a gift.

Outside the Company: 

    • Generally, it’s still easier to get a job when you have a job, so consider the threat of a layoff as an opportunity to take action before you’re unemployed.
    • In addition to looking at job boards, start to meet with people you know throughout your community and industry.
    • Let them know that you’re considering what’s next and that you’d love their thoughts about who you should talk with.
    • You’ll need to share, in about 3 minutes, what you’ve been doing, the skills you want to offer, the kind of environment that’s great for you, and a few different ideas you have had for ways you could use those skills so that you prime your contact on ways to look on your behalf.

Consider a frank conversation with your boss.

  • You know your organization and whether or not this is ok to do.
  • If you have a good relationship with your boss or with someone in HR, consider having a conversation about your sense that there are layoffs in the works and that you’re starting to look around to protect yourself should that happen.
  • In some cases, you may be able to negotiate a separation package that lets you leave with benefits that you might not have received if you were laid off.
  • In others, the organization may be clear and direct about your value and fight for you to stay.

Reflect on whether there are things you can do on the side that bring in income and could create a bridge if you’re laid off.

  • Anything that gives you confidence that you will be ok supports you having greater confidence through this difficult time.

The threat of being laid off can be extremely challenging and you may find yourself frozen for a bit. But if you can start to take action on your own behalf, you’ll be much more prepared no matter what happens.

Waiting and hoping, while tempting, is not in your best interest!

If you’re fearing a layoff at your company
and would like to work together
on your career strategy, contact us today.

Trends for Every Salesperson

Every profession goes through changes, especially sales. A certain sales technique may have worked in the past, but that doesn’t mean it’ll work today. To be a top-performing salesperson today and in the future, you must continuously adapt to both market and social conditions.

There are several new business trends taking place—all of which affect salespeople in every industry. Understand what the trends are and how to maximize them so you can maintain a successful sales career.

YOUR PAST SUCCESS WILL HOLD YOU BACK.

People who are in sales long-term tend to be successful. However, success is your worst enemy. Being at the top and doing well means you’re just trying to keep up and meet demand. You’re not looking at future opportunities because you’re busy reaping the rewards of current ones. The old saying “If it isn’t broke, don’t fix it” should be reworked today to state, “If it works, it’s obsolete.” If you just bought the latest device, odds are that the newer, better version is already in existence and about to be released to the public. We must evolve to stay ahead of rapid obsolescence in business.

TECHNOLOGY-DRIVEN CHANGE WILL DRAMATICALLY ACCELERATE.  

While it’s human nature to protect the status quo, you have to understand that technology is changing the future, customers’ behavior, and your company’s reality. If you don’t change, you’ll be out of a job. As a salesperson, you need to embrace change wholeheartedly rather than resist and hold tight to the past. Spend some time thinking about where these impactful changes are headed. Change causes uncertainty in customers’ minds, so you bring certainty to them when you display confidence in change.

TIME IS INCREASING IN VALUE.

Time is becoming more important to people, because we have an aging demographic of Baby Boomers in the United States. Time gets more valuable as you get older because you have less of it. The world is more complex, with much more for people to do with their time. With so much going on, everyone is increasingly strapped for time. As a salesperson, make your customers feel that talking to you is actually saving them time. The list of time wasters is virtually endless, and these hurt your sales and profits. Prove that you’re a time saver and people will choose you over the competition.

WE’VE SHIFTED FROM THE INFORMATION AGE TO THE COMMUNICATION AGE.

Many salespeople rely on static marketing tools like company websites, flyers, and sales letters. These methods are a one-way interface. The better way is to have your sales messages be dynamic. For example, you could have a contest that encourages people to go to your site and enter. Instead of just telling people to buy your snack product, you can encourage customers to go online and vote for the next new flavor, getting them involved. The key is to generate communication, engagement, and involvement through your sales and marketing efforts. Don’t just hand out information; you want to listen, speak, and create dialogue to capture your prospects’ interest.

SOLUTIONS TO PRESENT PROBLEMS ARE BECOMING OBSOLETE FASTER.

Almost every salesperson has been told to be proactive by taking positive action. Unfortunately, you must wait and see to know if a certain action is positive. Instead, be pre-active to future known events. You need to look at your customer segment and identify what types of events you are certain they will experience, and focus your actions on what will be happening rather than on what is happening. Being pre-active also means that you change the way people think. When you put out a new product, it takes a while to catch on because you’re not actively changing the way people think about how the product can be used. Constantly educate your customers on the value you and your products or services offer.

THE VALUE YOU BRING TODAY IS FORGOTTEN FASTER.

Sell the future benefit of what you do. Most salespeople sell the current benefits to customers who already know what they are. Your goal as a salesperson should be to establish a long-term, problem-solving relationship with customers, not a short-term transaction. Your most profitable customer is a repeat customer, so help them realize the long-term benefit of your partnership. Show them how the products and services you offer will evolve with their needs by selling the evolution of your products and services. Sit down with your fellow salespeople to create a list of future benefits that you have for your customers, and then get an idea of where the product and service developers are heading to think of future benefits preemptively.

SALES SUCCESS FOR THE FUTURE

The more you understand and adapt to today’s current business trends, the better your sales will be—today and in the future.

Are you anticipating future trends in your sales career? If you want to learn more about the changes that are ahead and how to turn them into an advantage by becoming anticipatory, pick up a copy of my latest book, The Anticipatory Organization.

Pick up your copy today at www.TheAOBook.com

Your Dream Job

During some personally difficult times, clients and colleagues will often ask, “Why do you do this work?” They are puzzled that we would choose to put ourselves in the middle of the messiness and pain that people experience in their lives and work.

We do this work because we know that when people matter to themselves and believe that others matter, too, success is ensured.

This is true in organizations, on teams, and with individual contributors. Success increases when people matter. Often in life, and especially at work, we can start to believe that things matter; results matter, money matters, but people…they are in the way. 

Yet, the most powerful leaders we know understand that it’s the people that create the success and that when those people are treated with respect for their contributions, with interest in their wisdom and perspective, and honored for the challenges they must deal with every day, everyone thrives. 

A few days ago, we found an article by Peter Wehner in the New York Times called, The Uncommon Power of Grace: A revolutionary idea lies at its core: radical equality. In it, there was a paragraph that described how we treat ourselves and one another when we believe people matter – the author used the term grace. 

When I recently asked . . .  how, as a nonbeliever, he understood grace and why it inspires us when we see it in others, he told me that grace is “some combination of generosity and magnanimity, kindness and forgiveness, and empathy — all above the ordinary call of duty, and bestowed even (or especially?) when not particularly earned.” We see it demonstrated in heroic ways and in small, everyday contexts, he said. “But I guess, regardless of the context, it’s always at least a little unexpected and out of the ordinary.”     

When we matter to ourselves and when we believe others matter, we bring a combination of generositymagnanimity, kindness, forgiveness, and empathy to ourselves and to others in the face of our humanity and the messiness it brings. 

This year, our commitment to you is to support you in mattering to yourself and to creating environments where others matter, because this is the combination that creates unexpected and out of the ordinary success

We’re in this together!

If you’d like support in showing your team that they matter, our Executive Coaching could be for you. Contact us today to learn more.

– Heather @ Carpenter Smith Consulting

How to handle a rejection after an interview

You are as skilled as anybody else but not in terms of qualifications. Be prepared to compete with many talented and experienced people. You should be confident enough to adjust your expectations and modify your skills as necessary.

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Rejection no matter where it’s coming from or who is doing it is like a punch to the face. For each job offer you receive from an employer, you are likely to receive several rejection notices from other employers. Nonetheless, it can sting! 

It shows you what you are made of. It shines a light on the things in your life that you need to let go off. It empties you out and leaves you with your true essence. It sets revelations in motion.

You are as skilled as anybody else but not in terms of qualifications. Be prepared to compete with many talented and experienced people. You should be confident enough to adjust your expectations and modify your skills as necessary.

Move out of your comfort zone and improve to be a better fit. Revise yourself to achieve greater commercial value. Accept necessary steps on the way to a better tomorrow.

Following are some of the ways to deal with it:

·Follow up with your other job applications. If not selected for a position, ask the employer for feedback about how you can make yourself a stronger candidate.

·Try to analyze your job search efforts. Try to adjust your approach, revise your material or try new strategies.

·Use career center resources to enhance your resume, cover letter and interviewing skills.

·Use positive self-talk and find a mantra that gives you strength.

·Make sure you take a healthy diet, talk to your friends and family and engage in enjoyable activities that build your confidence.

·If you are tired of the process, take a break and come back with more enthusiasm. Life does not get easier, you get stronger.

So here is how you should think of your rejection. Not as denials but gentle nudges and pushes in the right direction that changes your course in the right direction. You will learn that it will almost always turn out OK. After all, there’s an old saying “Like everything, this too shall pass…..

3 LITTLE KNOWN TIPS: HOW TO UNCLICK YOUR LIFE’S PAUSE BUTTON AND GET MOVING

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FRUSTRATED AND FEELING STUCK IN WORK AND/OR LIFE

I coached a woman named Tonya, who was having a tough time at work. She was feeling frustrated after a promised promotion ended with someone else getting the job. This was the final straw in a haystack of broken promises prompting her to look elsewhere for opportunity.

Unfortunately, she could not find the right job offer with additional income and scheduling like her current employer offered. Tonya felt advancing her career, needing scheduling flexibility, and growing her income were at a standstill. We all have similar work/life circumstances rife with excruciating stress, anxiety, and pain that is not sustainable, too, and remaining stuck is never the answer.

THE UNIVERSAL PAUSE BUTTON OF LIFE (CLICK)

 Tonya felt stuck– couldn’t move up or out of her current job or organization. She felt the universe was conspiring against her. We’ve all been there or maybe you are there right now with Tonya. I’ve been there too, live long enough, and it will come around again. Fortunately, this article shares a solution that shows you how to unclick life’s pause button of pain!

Tonya felt like the universe had hit the pause button of pain on her life. You can imagine how she felt — needing to pivot out of pain, but not knowing what, how, or when it would be possible!

Can you relate?

Every day, she goes into a job that gives her less and less, asks for more, and requires her doing her best work, while enduring feelings of discouragement, hopelessness, anger, distrust, and feeling absolutely stuck in her circumstances.

The U.K. Telegraph Online made these observations about people and their happiness:

Just three in 10 people feel ‘happy with their lives’ Researchers find 69 percent of people feel trapped in the same old routine and over 40 percent are unhappy with their lives

PAUSES CAN BE PAINFUL, BUT MORE OFTEN MISUNDERSTOOD

I shared with Tonya how life’s pauses are generally misunderstood. Most of us know how painful, uncomfortable, and frustrating it is believing, feeling, or knowing there is something better waiting down our life’s path, but the path is not illuminated between your current pain state and future pleasure state.

Tonya and many of us feel antsy and confused, when we cannot move quickly toward our pleasure state and get out of pain — now. However, I’ve learned that running down your life’s path, in the dark (not knowing where you are going or what you are doing) can be disastrous.

In fact, it may be the reason you are currently in the circumstances you are in today — running from fears, not being patient, thinking the grass is greener, etc. If you can’t see where you are going, how do you trust your path (process of moving forward) at all? However, there is a light out of the darkness and an immediate pivot onto an illuminated path, when you understand the true nature of your life’s pauses.

THE PIVOT POINT OUT OF PAIN: UNDERSTANDING LIFE’S PAUSES

So, Tonya and I talked about the pauses of life taking on the meanings we give them. And, how those meanings keep us stuck or propel us forward in life. Feeling like your life is on pause is human, however, making meaning of your pause is a choice.

There are two common meanings people make of their life’s pauses: Belief their pause is either good or bad.

1. BELIEF YOUR PAUSE IS BAD: This feeds hopelessness, blaming, fear, and frustration, but does not change anything. For example:

a. I feel stuck in this job, because I don’t have the right connections. (Blame)

b. I feel like I’ll never be able to live abroad, because I can’t afford it. (Fear)

c. I feel like everything is working against me, because I never get a break. (Hopelessness)

Believing your pause is bad puts your life’s control into the hands of circumstance and treating them as if they are concrete instead of clay. You are given circumstances to mold, create, and amplify good in your life and in other’s lives. You must take back control with belief in a Good Pause.

A great illustration is the “Pregnant Pause”:

Webster’s dictionary defines a pregnant pause as: A pause that builds up suspension in the listener/viewer, for a greater dramatic (especially comic) effect of what follows the pause. 

2. BELIEF YOUR PAUSE IS GOOD: You must figure out what you must labor for and give birth too that feeds hope, accountability, confidence, and fulfilment as your pleasure state. For example:

a. While I’m stuck in this job, I will use this time to start crafting a plan that facilitates the right connections and people for greater opportunities here or elsewhere. (Accountability, Control)

b. While I feel like I’ll never be able to live abroad, I will use this time to find a few people who’ve successfully done it and create an informed action plan that lets me live abroad too. (Confidence)

c. While I feel like everything is working against me, I will use this time to focus on finding what will work for me — I’ll create good breaks — my circumstances are clay and I’m the potter. (Hope)

We must all focus on making GOOD meanings of our pauses not BAD ones!

3 LITTLE KNOWN TIPS TO UNCLICKING YOUR LIFE’S UNIVERSAL PAUSE BUTTON

Understanding your pauses’ meanings is a choice: good or bad. And, you must see pauses as “pregnant pauses of possibility” for reflection and discovery of your way forward. To move forward in the dark, you need a light, so you can see a few paces ahead, obstacles, and confidently make steady progress on your pleasure state’s path.

Now, your path has three obstacles — let’s call them boxes on it. Boxes you must find, unpack, and use to unclick life’s pause button. Each box contains 1 of 3 flashlight parts: Bulb, Flashlight Tube, and Batteries, so you can illuminate your life’s path:

1. (BULB) Vivid vision: This is a compelling, uncompromising, crystal clear vision of your pleasure state. It’s a “MUST” for you. It is worth fighting for tooth and nail! This means pulling late nights, getting up earlier before work, breaking mental/physical bad habits, etc. No matter what happens, in work/life, you are a heat seeking missile aimed at your pleasure state. It is what you can’t stop thinking about, dreaming about, scheming about day and night, to quote Les Brown.

Adopt a mentality that you won’t rest until you act and make your pleasant state happen. This doesn’t mean burning yourself out but showing resolve in the face of anything attempting to derail your efforts.

How I applied #1: the day my wife and I stopped talking about going on vacation and started pulling up resort rates online, checking our leave balances at work, and calculating the cost of going to St. Maarten instead of just dreaming about it. As in work or life, you must know specifically where you are going, so you can count the cost and start preparing for your trip (mentally and physically).

2. (FLASHLIGHT TUBE) Patient Process: This is the revelation and transformation resulting from your path being illuminated. It is satisfying and painful, because it’s growth. You will learn and lose somethings on your path, which is part of the process of making room in your mental backpack for success supplies you’ll need for remaining focused (no matter what) on achieving your pleasure state.

This means you staying positive through your day’s current state of pain, while working on your pleasure state every free moment you can beg, borrow, or steal. You must reflect on the behaviors and relationships (to things and people) you must change so you can focus and act on your movement toward your pleasure state.

Such as ending low value, toxic relationships with people in your life. Or, you may become a volunteer sharing what you love and aligned with your pleasure state. These changes will help create more capacity and focus required for reaching your pleasure state.

How I applied #2: Our St. Maarten trip was several weeks in the making and waiting. Yes, waiting for the right rates, allocating funds, finding flights, arranging childcare, and getting projects done sooner, before even considering the beach vacation. It became our singular mission — we need a break (On St. Marteen) and we did what it took to reach St. Maarteen.

Now, cheaper vacations popped up like weeds, but those ads merely served to divert our attention away from making St. Marteen a reality. When your pleasure state is on the line, do not compromise!

3. (BATTERIES) Champion Connections: These people are further along in life. They give your bulb power to illuminate your path, so you can safely travel along it. This is where experts like Keith Ferrazzi comes in. There are millions of people out there that have been where you are going.

However, they don’t work for free, so you must learn how to engage, enrich, and be patient with them as they come into mutually beneficial relationships with you. Keith is a world renown expert in the champion connection space with books and at least one online course on Udemy.

This lesson about connecting with champions isn’t new, but it resonates differently when I consider how long I’ve been on a professional island cut-off from collaboration or support. And, seeing the impact of not having or being a champion for someone else — you stagnate, have fewer options, and have more difficulty getting off pause and staying that way.

How I applied #3: So, our best efforts hit a snag. We lacked expert knowledge of St. Maarten, so selecting the right condo was a chore. We did not know how water proximity dramatically reduced rental pricing. Like, a few hundred feet equating to a few hundred dollars less per day or week! An expert, when and where you need it, is rocket fuel for you unclicking your life’s pause button.

I can still remember breaking through the clouds over the sandy Isle of St. Marteen, as the jet descended through beautiful white clouds, over light blue waters, to touch down on a sandy expanse dotted by palm trees. It was only a few hours later, before we were sipping from fresh cut coconuts on a St. Maarten beach. The work/life struggle is real, and so are the rewards — don’t give up!

YOUR PATH’S LIGHT — ASSEMBLY IS REQUIRED

Life’s pauses make you stop, so you don’t trip over the three boxes on your unlit path to your pleasure state. The pleasure state that’s too far away to see with your eyes or run too without tripping over boxes in the dark. If you remain on your path and assemble your flashlight, you will see your path illuminate just beyond your pain state, faster, and enter your pleasure state more quickly.

DON’T TRY TO ILLUMINATE YOUR ENTIRE PATH — YOU’LL BLOW YOUR MENTAL LIGHTBULB

You might be asking, “Why can’t you see the whole path all at once?”

Jack Nicholson answers this question best:

See, your pause and path provide tumult and treasures that would be TOO alarming IF YOU SAW THEM ALL AT ONCE and out of context. You need processing time for making meaning out of what confronts you on your path. If you do not take time and build context around your experiences (Good Meaning), you will end up overwhelmed eating an entire elephant of possibilities instead of one bite at a time.

For example: “Getting a college degree can be overwhelming until you realize nothing happens until you enroll. And, progress toward completing a degree is one class at a time.” Your path is like getting a college degree. You will learn individual lessons that will help you reach your goal, which is how your path works — you get the context of where you are and are going, so you can keep going without overwhelm.

Otherwise, “Pop!” your bulb is blown trying to take in more than you are equipped to handle at any point on your path. This would make any pleasure state path seem more like a nightmare and your destination an impossibility, because you made the wrong meaning rushing toward your pleasure state!

Patience and process allow your flashlight’s illumination of bite sized portions of your life’s path. It is just enough illumination required to see, process, learn, and do what matters most in the moment — no more.

HERE’S THE ADVICE I GAVE TONYA (THAT WILL WORK FOR YOU TOO)

1. (Bulb = Vivid Vision) Tonya needed to unpack and create her ideal pleasure state that embodies the salary, flexibility, location, and opportunities for growth she dreams about day and night.

She will spend quality time making sure her pleasure state vividly resonates with her core values and aligns with her overall direction for her best life. These actions will help her create a crystal-clear vision for herself that feels right, authentic, compelling, necessary, a bit scary, and ultimately exciting without being overwhelming.

2. (Body Tube = Patient Process) Tonya must unpack her patience and stick to the “revelation — transformation” process, which means not rushing through needed research into jobs fitting her description. Not letting negative thoughts about her pleasure state dim her vivid vision, nor allowing bumps/setbacks on her path dissuade, discourage, and/or distract her from her chosen path.

This means maintaining her focus on bite-sized, actions and steps versus focusing her precious attention on all the possible steps she thinks must be taken toward reaching her pleasure state.

Remember, unfocused thinking will induce worry and often results in overwhelm getting in the way of a clear course of action. If you have trouble focusing your thoughts, you may find it useful practicing stillness such as a nature walk or meditation, before embarking on any serious self-reflective activities.

3. (Battery = Champion Connections) Finally, Tonya and I discussed the importance of taking her 12- month pause and getting connected with people she must meet, learn about openings, and building educational/social bridges to her pleasure state (the third box unpacked).

She must find champions with money, wisdom, introductions, perspective, to name a few things, whose flashlights have illuminated theirs and other’s paths to success. A great resource is Keith Ferrazzi’s book and relationship action plan (RAP) concept that spells out what Tonya must do consistently for the types of business and social relationships she needs for moving into her next opportunity.

Now, Tonya has unpacked all three boxes, assembled her flashlight, and is ready for champion connections who will help her follow her pleasure state’s path. And, so can you.

WRAPPING UP

Remember, your pause is what you make it, so make it a good one, by following the flashlight assembly instructions:

1. Create a vivid vision.

2. Follow your process with patience.

3. Find champion connections who have been where you are going

Follow these three steps, and I guarantee you’ll be on your well-lit path moving toward the pleasure state that gives you a better work and/or life results. These tips worked for me and those I’ve coached, so I know they will work for you, too.

ABOUT JOHN

I thank you for stopping by today.

I know you and millions of others want more control over their food and life’s narrative, so you can live better.

A Great Motivational Speaker Jim Rohn once said, “For things to get better, I must get better. For things to change, I must change.

Enroll in My Online Training Courses: To immerse in new ideas, discussions, and safe options for food and life narrative changes:

Online Course — 5 Incredible Food Lessons to Help You Look and Feel Better Now!

How to Get Rid of Celery Stick Diets Forever!

http://bglk.thinkific.com/courses/5IncredibleFoodLessons

Online Course — 7 Amazing Life Changing Strategies: How to Build Your Best Life Now! (The 7 Little-Known Secrets Expert Coaches Tell Their High Net Worth Clients) http://bglk.thinkific.com/courses/7AmazingLifeStrategies

Visit and subscribe to my site at http://bigguylittlekitchen.com/

Remember, nothing changes until you change. Nothing gets better until you get better.

Act: Enroll or Subscribe today, to begin your life transformation journey to a better, happier, healthier, fulfilled, and wealthier you.

Ways of Being and Doing – multi-tasking, procrastination and everything in between

clear glass with red sand grainer
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

In today’s world we are all so focused on doing things, ticking off the boxes on our ever so long to-do-lists, but rarely do we stop to just BE. How about a ‘to be’ list? How you are and who you are is often more important than what you do or how you do it, because being is a pre-requisite of doing. For example, if you are grounded, calm and present, you will DO things in a more productive way than if you are scattered, stressed or overwhelmed. If you tend to put things off, or procrastinate, what state of being are you in and what are the motives for your procrastination?

Let’s look deeper into multi-tasking and procrastination. Though they may seem at the opposite end of the ‘doing” spectrum, some of the ‘being’ states underneath are quite similar. What is the little (or not so little) voice in your head telling you? “Hurry up, get it done, why are you forgetting this, oh no! not again! Why am I leaving this again till the last moment? Or is it:” I cannot believe it’s midnight and I haven’t finished the 3 things I planned to do before bed!” More often than not, we are not even aware of that voice, but it is always there, and it is guiding us, sometimes in a trance-like state. These are the ‘saboteur’ voices that we all have and experience, the question though is: Are we aware of them?

If you are ruled by the Achiever voice, you may be running yourself to the ground, and pursuing all those tasks like your life depended on it – when is the time to let go and just relax, just BE? How many boxes will need to be ticked before you can slump onto that sofa?

If you are governed by the Avoider voice, you will be procrastinating. You may be putting things off because inwardly you worry that you will not be successful, or you may even worry that you will be! You are trapped in the status quo and inaction, because it is safe, because if you do take that action, focus on completing that task or perhaps take a risk to do something new, you will face the unknown and change – by not moving in any direction, you are ‘safe’. More often than not, we have multiple saboteurs running the show from behind the scenes, though usually not at the same time (chuckle).

Essentially, it also comes down to our relationship with time. Do you tend to believe that you do not have enough hours in the day, or perhaps that you can always do it tomorrow? Our understanding of time is completely subjective, and we can change it and remake it, though the process could be trying and demanding. According to Eckhart Tolle: “Time isn’t precious at all, because it is an illusion. What you perceive as precious is not time but the one point that is out of time: The Now. That is precious indeed. The more you are focused on time—past and future—the more you miss the Now, the most precious thing there is.”

We have all become masters of avoiding the present moment, whether it is Netflix, Facebook or just aimlessly browsing the Internet…We spend time fantasizing about the future (dreaming about our next holiday or worrying about a potential disaster scenario that we have made up in our minds), or perhaps we are trapped in the past, revisiting old grievances and resentment, or even reminiscing about days bygone that will never come back…But are we ever in the present moment, in the so elusive NOW?

Dr Gabor Mate defines trauma as the inability to be in the present moment. Indeed, taken to the extreme, dwelling in the past and not letting it go results in depression, whereas constantly worrying about the future is actually what anxiety is. While we may not be at the extreme of this spectrum, we have all at some point experienced these states to a certain degree, and they all have to do with our being, first and foremost, and then our doing – or not doing- is driven by it.

Going back to our perception of time and the resulting behaviour we may find ourselves juggling many tasks and activities at once, ending up exhausted and not as productive as we had hoped. Or we can find ourselves putting things off, getting distracted and allowing “time to just slip through a crack…” and before we know it, we are beating ourselves up for not doing that task that we have been putting off for ever…

Alas, so what to do? Or rather, I’d say, ‘What to be?’ Being in the present moment is the key and training our brain and the entire nervous system to be at peace with the present moment will take time. Whether you are predominantly Avoider or Achiever, or even Restless, grounding yourself in the present moment will allow you to just be and to start experiencing that elusive peace of mind. As you have guessed, meditation in its many guises and forms is a very good start. Whether you want to use an app or enrol into a Mindfulness course, learn Transcendental Meditation (TM) or choose any other way, you will reap the benefits. Not only will you allow yourself to BE, you will gradually become empowered to choose how you want to BE and therefore carry that quality of being into everything you do.

For more info contact jelena@whatwork.co.uk

http://www.whatwork.co.uk

Resources:

The Power of Now, Eckhart Tolle

https://uk.tm.org//london-victoria for Transcedental meditation classes

Apps: Headspace, Think up, Buddhify, Calm, 10% Happier, Mood notes, One Mind Dharma

Plum Village Mindfulness Retreats https://plumvillage.org/retreats/when-can-you-visit-us/

The “SALARY QUESTION” During Interviews…

[WARNING]: Consider this advice only if you are in a position to choose an employer. If not, please PM me, I have an alternative approach.

I feel strongly about this part of the interview process and I personally think interviewers or other people, apart from our spouses or parents or tax bureau, have no right or justifiable grounds to demand this from a candidate.

Having said that, never be afraid to walk away from a seemingly good opportunity if they make the salary question a big deal; except if, the employer wants to know whether they can afford you. But even in this case, your salary expectations should suffice, unless you want to work for them for a lower rate than what you are already getting. In that case, share it and proceed.

Before we start, here are some of the reasons why I believe employers would want to know your current salary (if you have others, please by all means, share them in the comment box):

  1. The employer wants to ensure they don’t overpay the candidate by giving him or her more than 40% of current salary (regardless if their budget for the position is double the current salary).
  2. The employer wants leverage during the negotiation. If they like the candidate and they know the current salary, they can work within that range and eventually provide a seemingly attractive offer based on their current rate. Anchoring the first offer from that perspective.

Think about it, if the organization treats you like this while you’re not yet in their payroll, how do you think will they treat you when you already are?

Below is a sample conversation that might happen when an interviewer asks you about your current salary.

[DISCLAIMER] You may find the discussion below too familiar…it’s purely coincidental.

INTERVIEWER: What is your current salary?

CANDIDATE: Based on the role, expectations, and industry standard, I would expect a base salary package of X.

INTERVIEWER: Yes, but that’s not what I asked for. I need to know your current salary. We can only move to the next level of interview once we have this. We ask this from all the candidates.

CANDIDATE: I fully understand that some companies require this information. However, I consider my salary, highly confidential. And I don’t openly share it apart from my spouse/parents/dogs. The last one is a joke (smile).

INTERVIEWER: All our applicants have to submit this information and there are no exemptions. If you can’t give us this, then I guess we can’t accept your application.

CANDIDATE: I would really love to explore a role in your organization and I am sorry to hear that the salary expectations I just shared would not suffice. I really hope you would re-consider even if I don’t divulge what I believe is confidential.

INTERVIEWER: I am sorry but we can’t.

CANDIDATE: I respect and understand your position on this. Thank you for being candid and up front about it. I really appreciate it. Please do let me know if your policy on this has changed.

End of discussion. You both shake hands and stay connected in LinkedIn.

However, in certain cases, the discussion doesn’t end. And it may go something like this:

INTERVIEWER: Look, we really like you to join us. But this decision of yours is making it really difficult for me to get you to the next level. I hope it’s you who would re-consider.

CANDIDATE: I am really sorry to hear that and I don’t mean to make it more difficult for you than it should be or for anyone else for that matter. That’s not how I operate.

INTERVIEWER: I am glad to hear that. Now, regarding your current salary, we assure you that we’ll treat it confidential. We take confidentiality here really seriously.

CANDIDATE: I have no doubt about that. Seriously, it’s not you, it’s me (smiling). Just kidding. I’ll tell you what, maybe we can arrive at a compromise, could you by any chance share with me the salary of the person who previously held this position?

INTERVIEWER: Unfortunately, I can’t. Those things are confidential.

CANDIDATE: Don’t worry, I can keep a secret. I am very good at it (smiling again). I have another question, what would you do if you found out one of your current employee is sharing with other recruiters his salary?

INTERVIEWER: That’s a major policy violation. Because it potentially exposes our salary structure to our competitors.

CANDIDATE: If I divulge my salary to you now, would you still trust that I won’t do it again in the future? How would that work for us if I join?

INTERVIEWER: I see where you’re getting at here. It’s the first time I heard such a compelling and respectful argument to this policy. You’re exactly the type of person we need in our organization. I would love to see you progress and eventually join us, I’ll talk to my superior about your request. I don’t know if this will do anything, but heck, it’s worth a try. I’ll get back to you on this.

CANDIDATE: Thank you. I am more than willing to wait for your advice.

End of discussion. Both of you shake hands and stay connected in LinkedIn.

Please share your thoughts, below.

 

For more thoughts and tips, follow the hashtags: #Leadingwhereyouare, #Leadingwithapurpose, #JeffManhTalks

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LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jeffmanhilot

FB page Jeff Manh Talks

Why Entrepreneurship Matters: Meet Kaley.

Kaley had it all… or did she?

Kaley is an inspirational client of ours at . Coach LLC. Nobody embodies better the principles we stand by as a company better than her.

Kaley Zeitouni began her career at 14 years old when she founded the nonprofit organization Youth Against MultipleSclerosis (YAMS).

As a natural born leader with an unwavering passion to make an impact, Kaley has inspired thousands across the globe as a motivational speaker sharing her experience being diagnosed with MS at age 12.  After twenty years living with the auto-immune disease, Kaley healed herself from MS and now coaches others with chronic illness to also experience relief from illness, transform their health blueprint, and live healthy lives.

While living with and curing herself of a chronic illness would seem like enough to keep someone busy for a lifetime, Kaley’s passion doesn’t end there. Life threw another curveball in 2016 when Kaley’s fiancé died suddenly at 29 years old. Today Kaley speaks openly about her experience with grief and loss and developed a coaching program to help others who have lost a spouse or partner to truly heal and restore a sense of wholeness in their lives.

Kaley combines her professional skills as a Marriage and Family Therapist with her personal experiences facing life’s biggest challenges to lovingly and empathically help others to achieve what society deems impossible. Kaley is a published author and continues to empower and inspire others to heal from within, whether from loss or illness.

The following is a real-life account of what growing a startup really is all about. It is raw, genuine and filled with inspiration. Enjoy

Last week, I left the office where I had a“good job” for the last time. If you asked me a year ago, that image would have been terrifying, but when the day finally arrived, it was the greatest feeling ever. 

For years, I had what society would call “great positions.” I had the title, the salary, and I was always extremely good at my job. So you can imagine everyone’s surprise when I gave notice without another full time “job” to go to. Instead, I left to grow my coaching business, working with people experiencing the loss of a spouse/partner to heal and transform their lives.  

Two years ago my fiancé died suddenly. I was broken. The pain was so excruciating, there were moments I thought I was going to physically just split down the middle.  Having had a previous career as a Marriage and Family Therapist, I knew that weekly therapy wasn’t going to be enough to heal. I called upon my mentors and coaches to get me through this time, along with others who had had similar experiences. I came to hate the phrase “time heals,” which people repeated constantly during that time. If I was in so much pain why would I wait for time to heal. Through hard work and finding every possible resource, not only did I heal, I discovered a new me and a new level of happiness I didn’t know existed. 

I started sharing these tools with others facing loss, and I was amazed by the results. I saw that it is possible to proactively heal rather than wait for “time” and to do so in a healthy way without letting go of your loved one. I felt called to do this on a larger scale but didn’t know how to monetize it not to mention all the fears about leaving the seeming security of my job. 

I had heard about coaches and authors who were making six or seven figures but part of me didn’t believe that was possible. It also just seemed like a far-off dream to be able to spend my time helping people in a way that felt aligned with my soul, and earn enough to not work80 hours a week.

Turns out, I was wrong.  About eight months ago, I found two amazing coaches, Sai Blackbyrn and IgnacioPerez, who helped me see that my dream was not only possible but that I owed it to the world to live my best self.

There is an important Jewish teaching that states that when we die, the Creator will not ask us why we weren’t more like Moses or any of our other leaders. Instead, we will be asked why we weren’t more like Kaley. Sai and Perez hit that message home for me on a daily basis. 

They coached me through the exact steps of building my business which I did alongside my 12 hour day job. Word of mouth kept spreading even before I had a website up, so they coached me through each prospective call in order to attract my ideal client. Within a couple months the scales tipped and not only did it become impossible to keep doing both, I realized I didn’t have to. 

With every passing day, I feel honoured to be a companion for others experiencing grief and I am grateful for the opportunity to live life on my terms rather than the hamster wheel I was stuck in for years. The idea of creating my own business, being self-employed, seemed so daunting. I thought it would take years to get here. I always knew I was born to be an entrepreneur but I could have stayed stuck in the fear for years. Having the right guidance and focusing on the results rather than getting stuck in the details allowed me to turn my life around in just six months and now I get to focus on the adventure ahead.

To me, coaching is all about giving back. It is about being a role model — maintaining my own integrity in the face of adversity. It is honouring someone’s journey and empowering them to heal from within and in turn manifest their full beauty in the world.

Today I live a dream and it is because I took a leap of faith and believed all would work out.

Kaley Zeitouni 

It did.

So take the leap.

You’ll thank me later

-Kaley

 

Top Ten Reasons To Become A Coach Now

Kamy Ahmed shares 10 reasons why anyone should consider coaching as their next career move based on his experience as a respected strategy expert for coaches

As more and more people are becoming sick and tired of the 9-5 grind, more and more people are deciding that they want to step away from the traditional ways of making a living and instead are opting in to become highly ‘credible’ coaches. Ultimately this has given a huge surge to the coaching industry as more and more people are becoming aware that they are able to start a very profitable business using a laptop and an internet connection. the rise of the coaching industry has been phenomenal. It is estimated that by 2020, the coaching industry will be worth well over $2 Billion dollars and being able to work with coaches on a daily basis, here are my top 10 reasons for becoming a coach.

1. Have Total Life Freedom

Have you ever dreamed about working from anywhere in the world? Not having to answer to a boss or anyone for that matter? Being able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, how often you want? Well, now you can. With coaching, you’re able to have that complete life freedom and as long as you have a laptop and a internet connection, you’re able to provide tremendous value to your clients.

2. Doing more fulfilling work

Every single day, I speak with people who are completely unhappy in their jobs. They are miserable because they’re doing the same things over and over again, not going anywhere, staying comfortable because it pays the bills. Becoming a coach helps to get rid of that sense of unfulfillment by helping others get results every day. When you see others succeeding and you were the catalyst in their growth, there comes a true sense of fulfillment because ultimately your clients success is your success. No more feelings of being unfulfilled.

3. Becoming The Best Version Of Yourself

When you push clients further than no one else has pushed them and they get the results they’re looking for, ultimately it motivates you to push yourself. Just imagine everyday you are striving to be the best version of you. Soon enough you will see tremendous results because now as you grow, your clients grow and vice versa. The cycle is definitely one which you want to be stuck in.

4. Financial Freedom

Having true financial freedom allows you to make as much money as you want. No more worrying about how to make ends meet until your next paycheck. With this new found freedom, you now have options, the option to fire your boss instead of him firing you.

5. Become The ‘Go-To’ Person On A Subject

As more and more people are becoming sick and tired of the 9-5 grind, more and more people are deciding that they want to step away from the traditional ways of making a living and insteading are opting in to become highly ‘credible’ coaches. Ultimately this has given a huge surge to the coaching industry as more and more people are becoming aware that they are able to start a very profitable business using a laptop and an internet connection. the rise of the coaching industry has been phenomenal. It is estimated that by 2020, the coaching industry will be worth well over $2 Billion dollars and being able to work with coaches on a daily basis, here are my top 10 reasons for becoming a coach.

6. Have Total Life Freedom

Have you ever dreamed about working from anywhere in the world? Not having to answer to a boss or anyone for that matter? Being able to go wherever you want, whenever you want, how often you want? Well, now you can. With coaching, you’re able to have that complete life freedom and as long as you have a laptop and a internet connection, you’re able to provide tremendous value to your clients.

7. Doing more fulfilling work

Every single day, I speak with people who are completely unhappy in their jobs. They are miserable because they’re doing the same things over and over again, not going anywhere, staying comfortable because it pays the bills. Becoming a coach helps to get rid of that sense of unfulfillment by helping others get results every day. When you see others succeeding and you were the catalyst in their growth, there comes a true sense of fulfillment because ultimately your clients success is your success. No more feelings of being unfulfilled.

8. Become The Best Version Of Yourself

When you push clients further than no one else has pushed them and they get the results they’re looking for, ultimately it motivates you to push yourself. Just imagine everyday you are striving to be the best version of you. Soon enough you will see tremendous results because now as you grow, your clients grow and vice versa. The cycle is definitely one which you want to be stuck in.

9. Financial Freedom

Having true financial freedom allows you to make as much money as you want. No more worrying about how to make ends meet until your next paycheck. With this new found freedom, you now have options, the option to fire your boss instead of him firing you.

10. Become The ‘Go-To’ Person On A Subject

Just imagine what life would be like if you were seen as the ‘expert’ on a subject? What if people were to pay you large sums of money for your advice and expertise? How about if you were seen as the ‘Tony Robbins’ or the ‘Zig Ziglar’ in your industry? All of these things are possible when it comes to coaching. Once you truly stand out and differentiate yourself from everyone else, you become the undisputed king in your field and people will want an expert’s advice, which will be yours.

Kamy Ahmed

By Kamy Ahmed

Kamy is a Strategy Analyst specialised in healthcare, pharma and big data. He works at Dot Coach and Co-Founded How Did He Do It? a strategy non-profit whose mission is that of providing good business strategy to those who can’t afford it.