Happy Holidays

love, happiness_edited-1

 

As always, the winding down year came with ups and downs, but as it comes to a close, and we think back on all that happened, it is the good things we should choose to focus on. The kindnesses we received and and ones we gave. Beautiful moments that shone through like the sun catching rainbow sparkles on fresh fallen snow. And joys sprinkled throughout.

Most likely there were people who helped you during the year, who offered support or guidance or an introduction to someone you’d been trying to meet. Maybe your boss gave you an opportunity to expand your abilities, or a co-worker offered a ride share while your car was in the shop. You can probably think of hundreds of things that happened through the year that made your days brighter.

Focusing on the positives shines a glow of thanks over the whole year. By bidding the year farewell with a thankful heart and well wishes, we set the tone for the one to come.

Until we meet again in the upcoming year, the joys of the season to all from all of us to all of you.

Afraid To Ask?

Afraid To Ask?

 

How often have you needed help or advice but refrained from asking? What stops you? The fear of rejection? Embarrassment? The conviction that the best way to do something is to do it yourself?

 

If help is easily given, most people are more than willing to offer it. More than that they enjoy helping when and where they can because help is a cycle. I help you, you help me. We all grow and succeed by helping each other.

 

Amanda Palmer is a self proclaimed “Rock Star” who made it pretty big in the indie scene when she raised over a million dollars in under a month from her fanbase of about

20,000 people. She attributes her success to being an excellent asker.

 

 

Amanda Palmer’s Ted Talk, “The Art of Asking,” is about the value of asking for help, and how the person helping you is actually repaid in how good it feels to help another person. She also wrote a book about the same topic.

 

According to Amanda, asking and giving is a never ending cycle. Askers are the best givers because they know what it’s like the be on the other side. And if they can, people genuinely want to give. The problem is so many of us have a problem with asking.

 

We don’t like asking for help or for money because it makes us feel guilty or ashamed for needing the help. But it shouldn’t. Because the day will come when someone will ask you and it’s the best feeling in the world to be able to return the favor to someone else.

 

Career related asking

One of the best things you can do as far as your career is concerned is to learn to ask. Ask people for help if you’re confused, don’t just blindly hope for the best. If you’re looking to learn something new or want to try something different, ask someone who’s already successful in that field if they’ll mentor you. If you need someone to take your shift, ask them. If you need to borrow a little money from a friend, just ask.

 

As long as you don’t abuse the asking privilege more often than not you’ll find the answer is “yes”. No one will think less of you for asking. We all need help sometimes. And we’re all in the position to provide help sometimes.

 

Positive physical effects of asking

On a more scientific note, asking actually has awesome effects on the brain. If you want someone to like you more, all you have to do is ask them for a small favor. Even if

they don’t like you, they’ll likely do it to not be a jerk.

 

Once they do it, their brain assumes they must like you, otherwise they wouldn’t be doing you this favor. So, they, in turn, like you better.

 

Asking and helping create bonding relationships

Asking and helping bonds people together. We love to help each other. It’s in our nature. We evolved to want to make sure everyone is okay. It makes all of us feel safe and secure and good about ourselves and each other.

 

 

So, next time you need help, don’t just push through it yourself. Give yourself a little nudge and ask. The worst they can say is no.

If You Build It…

If You Build It...

 

If you ask an artist to draw something they will either look for a reference to model off or visualize it in their head before they begin.

 

If you want to move ahead in your career, you’d do well to look at it like an artist. It is said, nothing comes from nothing. That’s why it’s so important to give yourself something to strive for.  Have a vision of your destination before you set out on your journey.

 

Visualize your future life

Picture yourself where you want to be in five years. Picture it in as much detail as you can. Where do you live? What do you do? What’s your income? What have you accomplished?

 

Don’t just take two seconds out of you day to think about it, picture it. Collect images if you need to. Really see yourself in that situation.  It might sound silly, but this visual you create and refer to, can help you create that career you’re trying to build. Visualization is something they tell athletes to do all the time. That’s because an athlete is much more likely to cross that finish line if they’ve already seen themselves doing it first.

 

Be specific

It’s the details that will keep get you motivated and help you stay the course. You don’t want to use vague ideas like, “I want to make more money in 5 years.” You want something much more tangible. Visualize what you will be wearing, the car you will be driving, the people you will be associating with in your new circumstances. Make it as real as you possibly can.

 

Be realistic

If your visualizations are completely outside the realm of possibility then this whole exercise is a waste of time. If you’re not likely to be living in a mansion with your own personal butler in the next five years then that visualization is nothing more than a daydream.

 

You want your visualization to be realistic and genuinely within your grasp. That way it will inspire you to keep striving and motivate you to become the person you are so busy  imagining you already are.

Choosing Courage – Motivation Monday

Choosing Courage - Motivational Monday

 

Queen Elizabeth has been on the throne so long, most people don’t remember a time when she wasn’t queen of the United Kingdom. In February 2018, it will be sixty-six years since her coronation. But sixty-six years isn’t the extent of her public service. Prior to becoming Queen, Elizabeth was heir presumptive. In that capacity she was already undertaking public duties during the Second World War.

 

During Elizabeth’s reign, the world has seen unimaginable triumph, like a probe from earth landing on an asteroid flying through space, then sending information back home. It’s also seen unbelievable devastation resulting from destruction both natural and human-made.

 

The majority of us only have our own lives and those of our families to reign over. From that limited perspective, we also face difficulties and triumphs. It’s easy to accept triumph, but what do we do when courage is called for? What we do when things are difficult is what defines us and our futures. We are not only courageous in life and death situations. It takes courage to keep trying in the face of adversity. To get up again after falling down. To say yes when everyone around you is saying no.

 

When you feel like the winds pushing against you are too strong and you’d rather just give up and simply let your goals blow over you, remember, from the perspective of one who’s seen everything, the courageous do not lie down and accept defeat. Rather, they push against that defeat with even more determination.

 

Following in the footsteps of success

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All of us want success. What if we told you there was a shortcut to where you’re going? It’s not about less work or thinking positive thoughts. It’s about learning from people who’ve already achieved great success. By listening to what they say, implementing their advice, learning from them you can save yourself countless hours of trial and error. Check out these thought leaders you should be following from Inc. and set your course for great things!

The Problem Is Not The Problem

The Problem Is Not The Problem

 

Problems get in the way of us doing things. They create stumbling blocks or insurmountable mountains. They make us feel like we can never get where we need to go.

 

It’s true if you wait for a problem to go away or hope it will go away or decide there’s nothing you can do about it and give up, then yes, the problem will definitely stop you from achieving your goal.

 

However, what if you decided to think of each problem as an opportunity. An opportunity to try a different approach. To talk to different people. To learn something new.

 

So often things that start out as problems turn out to be inspirations. They lead to things and situations that are better than our original plan.

 

Life and how you feel about it and what you get out of it are all a matter of perspective. When you run into a problem. Instead of worrying about how you’re going to get around it, search for the opportunity buried inside it. You might find buried treasure.

 

Becoming a Top 20% Salesperson

Becoming a Top 20% Salesperson

 

You’ve probably heard of the 80/20 rule, that states that 80% of the results in a given situation can be attributed to 20% of the people working towards those results. That means the top 20% of the salespeople in a company will make 80% of the sales.

 

Take control

Top twenty percenters have certain attributes. They don’t hope for the best they commit to being the best.  Holding no illusions that they’re somehow going to magically rise to the top, they decide they’re going to get there and then hold themselves accountable every step on the way. There’s a grand canyon between hoping for something and deciding you’re going to get something. One leaves the achievement of the thing to outside forces. The other takes control.

 

Acknowledge successes

They look at everyday as another opportunity to learn something that’s going to bring them closer to their goals. They implement what they’re learning and keep on working away on that skill like a sculptor on stone, until that skill or the sculpture inside the stone is revealed. When those skills lead to successes they don’t just let them pass like ships in the night they stop and acknowledge the accomplishment. They reward themselves in some way to keep themselves incentivized.

 

Not afraid of fear

Fear is the great stopping point to so much success. The two things that people most fear are: failure and looking bad in front of others. Those fears are what prevent so many people from giving their careers 100% of their energy and dedication. You can’t fail 100% if you’re only putting in 60% or 70% effort.

 

Top twenty percenters do not let fear get in their way. They are as afraid as anyone else, but they go ahead and put themselves out there anyway. As Henry Ford said, “One of the greatest discoveries a man makes, one of his great surprises, is to find he can do what he was afraid he couldn’t do.”

 

A personal commitment to results

Top twenty percenters are not giving lip service to their company or their product, they are speaking with 100% conviction and commitment. To be a strong salesperson you have to believe in yourself. To believe in yourself you have to believe in what you’re doing. You can’t believe 60% or 70% or even 99%. It has to be 100%. If you don’t have 100% believe in yourself and your company then why are you there?

 

Clear direction

A lawyer never asks someone on the stand a question without knowing the answer. Top twenty percent salespeople are fully prepared and versed on every aspect of the their product and the people they’re selling that product to. They may never say the same thing twice, but they have a clear, defined system for what they’re going to say.

How Are You Perceived Online?

How Are You Perceived Online?

 

We all use social media so much it’s become part of our everyday lives. Personal uses for social media aside, have you thought about how social media can help or hinder your career?

 

Google

Before you apply for a job, you probably Google the company. What do you think the hiring manager will do before considering you for the job? Right, they’re going to Google you.

 

So beat them to the punch. Google yourself. What’s there? Does it make you look good? Professional? Fun? Or is there some embarrassing stuff? Make sure you take the time to check and adjust your public image accordingly.

 

Create a professional version of yourself. If you don’t feel like you can let go of that tumblr account you created about funny cats, go ahead and keep it, but don’t keep it under your name. Everything associated with you should be professional. The twitter feed associated with your name shouldn’t have an outlandish username or contain silly posts. Your Facebook should be clean and private.

 

Website

It’s a good idea to also create a website as a professional landing space on Google. Use it to write about what you do. Include any references you may have and contact information. Think of it as an online, expanded resume. You could include a sort video introduction to you and what you’re all about.

 

LinkedIn

Do you have a LinkedIn account? Are you active there? Do you post and share and interact? Do you network there? Because a lot of employers do all those things. The little corner of the social media that is LinkedIn is one of your top sources for finding a job.

 

Ensure your social media presence is as professional and engaging as you so when the next potential employer Googles your name, virtual you is as inspiring as in-person you.

Looking For A Job Where You Can Grow?

Looking For A Job Where You Can Grow?

Never Stop Learning sign

 

Some people are just looking for a job where they can do their thing, go home and pursue other interests outside of work. Others are looking for something a little more challenging. Work where they can continue to learn and expand on their knowledge base.

 

If you’re into working for a company where you can grow, personally and professionally, check out 26 Companies Where You Never Stop Learning from The Muse.