Are You Being You?

I recently did a talk with  a group of young adults on the topic: Balancing  Careers, Family and Fun!  I told them that I was the “poster child” for this topic because I have been balancing these three things for as long as I can remember. I shared my experiences from when I had my  first job right out of college to the ups and downs of  making the transition from the corporate world to becoming an entrepreneur. There was a lot of laughter and I truly enjoyed sharing my life experiences.   After I had received my feedback about the presentation, I noticed a common thread among the comments. The overwhelming response was that my audience felt engaged because I was so “transparent” and so “real.”

I was happy that the information was well received, but I was also a little taken aback. I don’t know what this young audience expected, but what I DID  know was that I didn’t know how to be anybody else but ME.

Sometimes when  people speak they maybe more concerned with WHAT they present and forget about the HUMAN side of presenting. Yes, it’s important about WHAT you say, but it also matters HOW you say it.  People want to know WHO is  the real person behind the presentation. Why was THIS person  selected to present? What EXPERIENCE does the presenter  have that is relevant and  can the audience  RELATE to it? And finally, what can the audience TAKE AWAY  and use immediately  once they leave?

If more presenters thought about these questions, they might rethink their flow of  how they present. It’s crucial to get the audience involved by asking them questions and getting their thoughts on the topic being discussed. A presenter can learn a lot from an audience  from just watching their body language and eye contact. Look for cues  that will tell you whether or not your presentation is on the right track or if it is about to be derailed.   In other words, the more the audience shows you, the more you should want to show them. Feed off them and and let them feed off you.  Relax and just be yourself. Be conversational and have fun and watch  how much easier you will connect with your audience and they connect with you. And finally, make sure you stay to true to yourself and to your audience. Your true authenticity will come out  naturally.

WOYN TIP: Just Do You. It’s a lot easier than trying to Do Someone Else.

 

 

 

Expect The Good In 2015

It’s the New Year and many of us have made resolutions for the umpteenth time. Some of us will keep our resolutions and some of us won’t. This year I didn’t make any resolutions. But, I did decide to live by these three words: Expect The Good.

I will focus this year on the positive and not the negative. When things do not go the way “I” plan, I will know there is a greater plan that is being laid out for me. I will Expect The Good.

I will not take things so personally when someone shows me a lack of consideration. I will acknowledge that it is not always about me and everyone is entitled to have a bad day. I will Expect the Good.

I will take the word “can’t” out of my vocabulary and focus on what I “can” do instead of what I can’t do. I will Expect the Good.

And finally, I am going into the New Year with high anticipation. I anticipate having an abundance of faithfulness, love, wisdom, health, prosperity and success. In other words, I Expect The Good.

WOYN TIP: Go into the New Year with an expectation of having good things happen to you. It’s all about your mindset. Choose good and expect it to happen!

Are You Prepared To Launch?

Are you in the process of making a significant change in your life? Perhaps you are about to receive a promotion or are in career transition. Maybe you have finally made up in your mind that  the time has come for you to  finally start your own business or get married, start a family or just start over. Wherever you are in your life’s stage, have you done everything you can to prepare yourself? In other words, are you prepared to launch?

I have been in many conversations where people have a dream. “When the time is right I’m going to…”, One day, I’m going to…when my kids get older…when I’m retired…Well, you get the picture.

With this type of thinking,many will never launch. They will always have an excuse that is holding them back.The truth is the time is right, as soon as you allow yourself to believe that it is. So with that in mind, where are you in your launch stage? Here are some things that you may want to think about.

Signs That You Are Ready to Launch

1.  You’ve stopped making excuses.
2.  You make it a part of your daily routine.
3.  You’ve done your research and are prepared for next steps.
4.  You have a plan A  and are prepared to move to plan B and C — when and if  necessary.
5.  You stay focused and visualize yourself successfully achieving your launch.
6.  You don’t give up.
7.  You readjust, re-calibrate and get back in sync when times get tough.
8.  You replace naysayers with positive players.

WOYN TIP: Get launched! What’s stopping you?

Failure is Not Final

It doesn’t matter if you’ve failed a class, gotten fired, missed a major deadline, had a setback in a relationship, or didn’t achieve a personal goal. You can feel comfort in knowing that you are not alone. Each of us has experienced a down time in our lives or felt that we have failed. But just because we’ve experienced failure doesn’t mean that we should give ourselves a pass to give up. In fact, sometimes failing is the best thing that can happen. When you fail, you learn valuable lessons. When you fail you can take a look at what didn’t go right, and reassess. When you fail, you can appreciate success that much more when it finally happens. And when you fail, you can help others prevent some of the mistakes you may have made.

The difference between those who finally succeed and those who give up is simple: It’s attitude. Attitude is what can determine our outcome. Attitude is what helps us stay confident. Attitude is something that we can adjust and have control over.
WOYN Tip: Stay positive, preserver and never give up. Now that’s Final! But remember, failure isn’t!

Be a Game Changer!

 

Think about it. In your path of life, are you setting your own rules or    following someone else’s?   Someone once said to me,” Lori, once you decide on what you want to do, go for it and YOU WILL be successful at it.”

REALLY? This sounded very “rah, rah” and simplistic to me. If it were that easy then everyone would be doing that, right? I told the person that sometimes people do decide on what they want, but sometimes it’s other people that make the opposite decision for you. Case in point, you are going for that perfect job that intuitively you know is what you want and you are ready, willing and able to do everything that is required to get it, right? However, the hiring manager decides that you are not the right fit for the position. As a matter of fact, they see you as being suited for something totally different and they hire someone else. So, what do you do then? — You become a Game Changer!

STEPS TO BECOMING A GAME CHANGER

You reassess and dig really deep. What I mean by that is you need to make a blue print of what your perfect circumstance would be. What does it look like? Where are you now in your life, early stages, mid-life, etc.? How long is it going to realistically take you to do what really matters to you?

Your stage in life will set the tone of where you need to start laying the groundwork in your life. Obviously, if you are just starting out, you have a lot of time to plan. And truthfully, you can afford a lot more missteps along the way — especially compared to someone who has lived half of their life already, and is looking at retirement or possibly starting over again.

Game Changers make the decision to start playing by a new set of rules that are written by them. You will know when it’s time to be a Game Changer when you realize that the traditional way of playing the game has all changed. There may have been a time when you needed a favor and could call on that person that owed it to you ,and they would come through for you. Now, that same call that you made in the past, today may not get you a call back. So, how do you adapt to becoming Game Changer?

WOYN TIPS:

• Don’t take things so personally. Just know it’s a different game and you are going to have to set up some new rules for yourself.

• Remember, it’s never too late to be a Game Changer. Decide what you “don’t like” about the game and start rethinking your strategy.

• Play the game to win. No one likes to lose. So, start off with the attitude of being a winner. Realistically, you know that not everyone can win all of the time, but you can set the pace of winning more and losing less.

• Be brutally honest with yourself. Things will never change if you keep doing the same thing over and over again and making excuses for yourself.
• Learn from your past mistakes, but don’t wear them on your sleeve. Forgive yourself and use those hard lessons you learned to improve on your next phase in life.

• Have fun. Setting your own rules can be very therapeutic. Start off by just going crazy and starting a list of all the things you want to change about your future. No matter how silly it sounds, just do it. Then start narrowing that list down to how you can actually manage your game plan.

• It’s never too late to start again. Rebuild, regroup and refocus.

• Stay Spiritual. Whatever your belief is, tap into it and trust that your higher power will help direct your new game of life.

Are You Talking Loud, but Saying Nothing?

Have you ever noticed that the person who says the most is usually the person that knows the least?  They may know what they are talking about subject-wise, but they are not aware of how their constant talking can be an annoyance to other people. Nor do they know that what they think is important, is not at the top of everyone else’s priority list.

These Saying Nothing people talk almost as if it is their rite of passage and just don’t know when to stop. Their words are empty and pointless. A conversation is an exchange between  people. It should be engaging and inclusive. It is irritating — not to mention rude to talk over or down to someone. It’s also bothersome to talk constantly about yourself. As a matter of fact, sometimes the less said, the better.

Talking Loud and Saying Nothing People need to understand that it is just as important to listen as it is to talk. Ever heard this expression? The first one who talks loses. This term is typically used in sales negotiations for when the sales person makes an offer and has to wait in silence for the decision maker to say something. If the sales person speaks first, he may lose the deal. The value of silence is rarely talked about because during conversations people mostly focus on what they’re going to say.

If  talkers tried a bit more silence,they would learn a whole lot more. They could strengthen their relationships, be more credible and actually add real value in a conversation. The challenge is getting them to see this.

Working on Your Now Tip: If you are someone who talks loud but says nothing give Silence a try. It’s golden.

Planting Seeds of Success

In a small kindergarten class in Anytown, USA, a bright-eyed child carefully scrawls her name on a Dixie Cup, fills it full of moist soil, eagerly inserts three beans, and carefully places it on the windowsill near the teacher’s desk. For the next few days she takes turns with the watering can, and watches with bated breath anticipating what amazing thing is about to happen. Eventually, tiny buds begin to rear their tender heads and turn towards the sun-drenched window.

In the next week or so, she experiences the ultimate reward. Amidst juggling an oversized backpack and cartoon-themed lunchbox, she ever-so-gently carries home the cup which holds the young plant—the fruits of her labor and love – and proudly places it a windowsill in her own home for all the family to admire.

When it comes to our own personal growth, do we have the awesome wonder of a five-year-old; the anticipation that something great is going to happen? Do we take care that our plans for growth are properly maintained and supported?

Do we eagerly plant seeds for our success? One seed—the idea itself, your goal, your dream; a second seed—a plan of action, and yet another seed – a mentor or support group.

Do we take the same care to make sure the soil is rich and full of nutrients—the proper research, resources and environment to execute your plan? Are you watering regularly—a concrete time schedule on which to reach goals and check in on your progress? Is there enough sunlight – positive energy?

If proper care is maintained, then you will witness the tiny buds of your growth as your dream rears its head. You’ll see it begin to grow and expand, and become a reality. And as you juggle all the extras in your life, you’ll still manage to nurture that growth and eventually enjoy the fruits of your labor.

There’s a Dixie Cup out there with your name on it.

Are You Busy with Things that Matter?

Everyone seems to always be busy. The universal saying is “There never seems to be enough time in the day.” Well, believe it or not twenty-four hours is a very long time. If someone asked you to be still for twenty-four hours then your first response would probably be this:  “That’s too long!”  How about twenty-four hours of driving, walking, running, standing, sitting or lying in bed? Twenty-four hours doesn’t seem too short now, does it?

Twenty-four hours is the same amount of time in everyone’s day. The difference is  what you choose to do with your twenty-four hours. Do you whittle it away by wasting your time on things that really don’t matter? Or do you  use each hour of every day purposefully for doing the things that are important in your life?

So the next time you start your day, think about all of the things that can be accomplished in twenty-four hours.  When it really comes down to it, how much time per day do you really need to do  the things that really matter?

WOYN Tip: When we prioritize the things that matter, we can make the time for what is really important. The other stuff can be put off until the next twenty-four hours.

Just Keep It Movin’!

 

I have been guilty of getting caught up in remembering some negative experiences that have happened in the past and wondering if they will ever rear their ugly heads again. I also used to spend quite a bit of time worrying about “what ifs” and things that I absolutely had no control over.

Don’t misunderstand me. I’m not saying that I’m 100 percent free of that thinking, but I have learned how to tell myself to Just Keep It Movin’!   Keep it Movin’ is when you have to refocus your thought pattern. It’s allowing yourself to move forward and think about the next step. It’s taking control of a negative situation and figuring out what you have learned that will benefit you down the road. It’s forgiving yourself. It’s saying it’s okay to fail. It’s being confident in your own abilities in spite of what others may tell you. It’s knowing that people are not infallible. Some mean well, others do not. When you Keep It Movin’, you can move past disappointments quicker and rely more on yourself and depend less on others.

When you Keep It Movin,’ you  think of new possibilities that you may not have thought were possible before. You become a  little less stressed too, because you are keeping things in motion and not allowing yourself  to get stuck in the day to day “manushia”.

So the next time life catches you off guard and those negative emotions try to take over your mind, body and spirit, remember this: you can either fall prey and become of victim of your own circumstance, or you can Keep It Movin’ and choose a new direction. It’s your decision.

WOYN TIP:  Just Keep it Movin! You’ll be glad you did!

 

 

No One Should Define You, Except You

So, what have you decided?  As you take a look back in your past and see all of the things that you’ve done (both positive and not so positive), what have you learned? Do you like what you see?

We’ve all  gone through trials and have experienced hard life lessons (some of us more so than others). However, it is how you come out of  your circumstance that really counts and how you handle it once you do.  Just because something doesn’t work out the way you had planned initially, doesn’t mean that the next time you try something  different it  won’t work out.

Many times, it takes several tries before we finally get it right, or before we finally get our big break. No matter how long it takes, it’s important to remember not to let your future plans be impacted by things that happened in your past. Of course, you can learn from circumstances  that did not allow things to work out, but you cannot afford to allow them to define your next steps.

In other words, don’t be afraid to move forward or afraid to continue to progress due to the fear of what happened before or what “might” happen down the road. Do not allow miss steps to define you. I realize that it is not an easy thing to do especially if you have experienced one  disappointment after another. It can even be more challenging to stay encouraged when others others are constantly doubting your abilities.  If you listen to negative people and thoughts, they  will cause you to lose your confidence and your ability to gain your footing back.

It’s so easy to feel beat down and even easier to lose faith in yourself when life seems like a constant struggle.But, you have to continue to believe that ” this too shall pass.” And it will. I repeat! Do not allow your circumstances to DEFINE you. Rise above them and find a way to RE-DEFINE yourself.

There are many people who could have allowed their circumstances to define who they were. However, they refused to allow that to happen. I posted this list of people in one of my  blog posts back in May of this year. I think that the list is worth posting again. I hope you stay encouraged. Read 50 Famous Successful People in Business and Life who Failed at First.

WOYN TIP: “People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don’t believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.” ~ George Bernard Shaw