Business

Business, And Life, Happens In Seasons.

The biggest lesson I am learning right now is that every freaking thing is happening in seasons.

I know, that that in and of itself is incredibly obvious but I know it is something that we all forget.  We all long for something more, something better or something different.  We long for the raise, for the job promotion or to be a part of a different company.  As we are longing for the different, we forget the simple fact that where we are today is not where we will be in the future. As long as we keep pushing, striving and doing, we will not be in the same place a year from now as where we are today.  Yes, physically and maybe even hierarchically in the organization you may be in the exact same place, but if you have been learning, striving and growing, you have much more to offer and can use those new skills to impact yours and others futures in a positive way.

Remember, business is all about seasons and just because you may be in one where the walls, floors and ceiling are covered in crap, it doesn’t mean that is where you will be in 6 months or beyond. Keep learning and keep taking those small steps forward.

Business

When Creating Goals, Mindset Matters


When creating goals, mindset matters.
Whelp, that’s about all I need to say on this topic, but for those of you wanting / needing a little more, let’s dive a little deeper.
As I was thinking through what my next big goal should be, fear crept in.  The fear that crept in was that I was going to become the arrogant ass that I was before.  Not only that, but instead of building relationships as I accomplished this goal, I would actually be pushing people away as I chased down what I thought was a great opportunity.
I knew that I needed to go about this goal setting process differently.  Instead of having some arbitrary goal that would benefit only me, I made others my focus.  I knew that if I had a goal that was me centric, I would push people away as I chased an opportunity.  However, if my goal was focused on benefiting those around me, then as I strived for that goal, I would be building the very relationships that would lead to the opportunities that I needed.
Mindset is everything.  When our goals are focused on us, our interactions take a turn for the worse as conversations go from a we, to all about me.  As you set your goals be careful of what kind of mindset you have, because it’s that very mindset that may just keep you from reaching your goals.
Business

I’m Not Your Friend

I freakin love relationships.  I love people. So why the title? Why the post about not being your friend? Let me paint a picture. (This is the part where if this was a movie it would do a ripple fade to another shot).
It’s a normal Tuesday, early afternoon.  You are just getting back from lunch and diving right back into the project that you had to take a break from. As you look up, you see a mountain of emails filling your inbox, and out of the corner of your eye you see a coworker coming over to talk to you about an issue they wanted your help with.  As all of this is going on, you hear a faint noise coming from your right… its the ring tone of your office phone. You don’t want to be a jerk and ignore it so you reach over and pick it up off of the receiver.
As you greet the other person on the line with a hearty hello and your name, what comes next isn’t unusual, but it is jaw dropping.  “Hey Paul, this is so and so from blank company.  I know its been a couple months or so since I last reached out, so I figured I’d call to see how everything is going and catch up.”  Like I said, not unusual, but it is jaw dropping.
All of us have experienced this, and some of us, myself included, are guilty of doing this jaw dropping action.  The exact words we use ourselves, or hear from the other line, may be a little different, but it all amounts to the same thing.  We have no relationship but  would like to shoot the s#!t and burn 15 of their minutes idly chatting.
Again, I am 100% about relationships, but I have begun to see the importance of being selective with those relationships and who I share my time with.  It’s also not that I don’t want to form new relationships, it’s just that I don’t want to idly chit chat with someone who is a complete stranger.
Whenever we call, whether it is a friend, and especially if it is a new contact, call with intention.  Call with a specific, not general, question in mind and if you can hear stress and frustration in their voice, give them an out.  I know this may seem counterproductive to sales, but if you are always calling and idly chit chatting you are not only wasting their time, but yours as well.  The strongest relationships I have, have started  over the simplest things, but those conversations where had with intention.
Remember, I’m not your friend, at least not yet, so please don’t pretend that we are.  Start calling people with intention and I promise those relationships will form.
Business

Why It’s Better To Create Than Consume

By default we are all consumers.  You don’t have to ever try to consume something.  it is in our nature to get what we want, whether that be food, clothes, tickets to an awesome event, scrolling through mindlessly on LinkedIn or other platforms. The real challenge is creating something that isn’t a humblebrag and actually adds value to those who read it.
Please, create something fun, create something intriguing, create something that sparks a new thought, even if its a potentially controversial one.  Think of a hobby you have, a conversation that made you think, an organization that you volunteer for and create something that isn’t focused on you, but brings light to something that you want the world to know about.
A word of caution, don’t only create content that makes you look awesome.  If you actually want to bring value to those around you, get beyond your big head and ego, and bring OTHERS value. What brings others value? Think about what brings brings them joy, stretches them in some capacity, or shines a light on something that could bring about a new passion or cause to fight for.  Don’t think too much about the content itself, and instead, take the words of the great company Nike to heart… “Just do it.”
(The 5 pics in this post are just random shots that added a visual element. They are nothing special.  Capture and create.)
Community

Pump The Breaks And Listen

I’m pretty sure it’s a universal law that we all love the sound of our own voice… I mean I know I do.  I love hearing my sweet sweet tumbra as I drone on about things I’m passionate about.  As true as this is, I also realize it is the worst thing for me to do to build relationships and really be able to share in people stories.
I have recently been challenged to shut up and listen, and I’m doing my absolute best to heed this advice.  Side story: One of my greatest fears is to have silence in a conversation. I mean I literally used to pray Proverbs 29:25 “Fearing people is a dangerous trap, but to trust in the Lord means safety” over and over again as a mantra.  I would pray that over conversations saying to myself that it is dumb to worry about silence or lack of conversation, and that I could trust that the Lord would bless our time and make it beneficial. I still deal with this fear to this day.
Back to the post:  I have had some great advice given to me that I believe will help me conquer the above mentioned fear and make me a better human being, father, husband, friend, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera.  To put the advice simply, it is to ask an intriguing question and to shut up and let the other person talk.  If I really want to go one step further, it would be to take a vow of silence for a day, or at a networking event, so I can give the other as much runway as they need to talk.  One last thing that I have started doing is bringing a little notebook and pen that I can jot down thoughts that come into my mind so I don’t have to interrupt.  Please, if we ever have the opportunity to talk, hold me to this.
A couple questions to end on.  Are you a fellow interrupter? Do you equally love the sound of your sweet sultry voice? If so, take up this challenge and start to listen more. Lean into the silence. Create better questions.  Learn to listen, actually listen, and give the other person the gift of hearing their own voice / talking about themselves and what is interesting to them.  When you give them this gift, it’s actually quite amazing how much you learn about them and figure out how you can both benefit from the relationship.