Don't Be a Turtle!

Today could be the best business day of your life! It just depends on how you're spending it. I'm observing lots of people "being turtles" (crawling into their shells and waiting for the storm to pass and the noise to stop). What does that mean for you? They aren't making cold calls, follow-up calls, setting appointments or pounding the pavement. Problem is, when the storm passes, those turtles will be poised for ... exactly nothing! What are you poised for?

On the flip side, there are those that are creating their futures right now! Are you one of them? Are you a 1%-er? Are you out there MSH (making sh*t happen), eating the low-hanging fruit, capitalizing on opportunities and setting yourself up for success when the sun comes out again?

Now is the time to downshift into 4th gear, grit your teeth and go for it! There are insurance policies being bought, homes being listed and sold, wealth being invested and estate plans being created. Business is still being transacted and if you're in the right place at the right time, in front of your potential clients and strategic partners on a regular basis, they will think of you when their time is right.

Be Ready to Pay

I got a call a few days ago from someone who is venturing out into executive coaching. We have a mutual friend who suggested she reach out to me to ask for any advice I might have to give her. Not that I don't want to help, and I am always surprised when someone wants to know my methods, insights and strategies but doesn't offer to pay for my time. We all have a finite amount of time, and it's only polite to be aware of that before you ask for something, right?

I've had this happen a few times and I'm not only surprised, but confused. I would never call a competitor and ask them to help me compete with them. Again, not without paying their standard fee.

My mom always said, "Never ask anyone to do something for free that they do for money." You can ask your friend who is an attorney for advice on their yoga practice, and a yogini for legal advice, but be prepared to pay the yogini and the attorney for advice in their respective fields. (This advice is out the window if that person is your very best friend, and only if they are your very best friend.)

Note: depending on their schedules, these pros may offer to give you a few free nuggets. Just in case this happens, have a few quick, specific questions for them to answer. If the answer turns out to be long and complicated, send them some cash or a gift card anyway.

Get it Right!

Don't you just hate it when people mangle your name? Me too -- along with just about everyone else on the planet. Why? Because nothing sounds as sweet to our ears as the sound of our own name. Even in a crowded room, we'll hear our name and turn to see who called it.

Say a person's name correctly and often, and you'll have his attention. Contort or truncate it beyond recognition and you'll lose him, maybe for life. I know someone isn't paying attention when they call me Honor-eeee instead of Honor-ay. It makes me want to not pay attention to them!

Getting someone's name right is one of the simplest ways to establish a good business relationship, yet so many people mess it up. Don't be one of them. Instead, take the time to listen and observe. It's a moment very well spent.

Here are some suggestions on how to do this:

• Take careful note of how the other person introduces herself (read: listen). If she says her name is "Elizabeth," call her "Elizabeth", not "Liz". If she says her name is "Liz", don't call her "Lizzy". Pay attention to whether someone's name is Kim or Kimberly. If you're not sure, ask!

• Repeat any unusual pronunciations you hear to make it stick in your mind. If the other person hands you a business card, make a note on the back of their particular articulation so that you can say it correctly the next time you talk to that person.

• Don't assume familiarity. Call the other person by his or her formal title until they invite you to call them by their first name. If you have difficulty doing that, if "Mrs. Skrybailo" just isn't rolling off your tongue, no matter how hard you try, for example, ask permission to use the first name. Never assume it.

One of the most important things which determine success in business is attention to detail. Make sure you've got it!

Work-Life Balance Is Truly Possible!

Balance is your natural way of being ... even when life is full of chaos!

Despite the worldwide quest for Work-Life Balance, very few have found an acceptable definition of the concept. Here's a proven definition that will positively impact your everyday value and balance starting today.

Let's first define what work-life balance is not.

Work-Life Balance does not mean an equal balance. Trying to schedule an equal number of hours for each of your various work and personal activities is usually unrewarding and unrealistic. Life is and should be more fluid than that.

Your best individual work-life balance will vary over time, often on a daily basis. The right balance for you today will probably be different for you tomorrow. The right balance for you when you are single will be different when you marry, or if you have children; when you start a new career versus when you are nearing retirement.

There is no perfect, one-size fits all, balance you should be striving for. The best work-life balance is different for each of us because we all have different priorities and different lives.
However, at the core of an effective work-life balance definition are two key everyday concepts that are relevant to each of us. They are daily Achievement and Enjoyment, ideas almost deceptive in their simplicity.

Engraining a fuller meaning of these two concepts takes us most of the way to defining a positive Work-Life Balance. Achievement and Enjoyment answer the big question "Why?" Why do you want a better income…a new house…the kids through college…to do a good job today…to come to work at all?

Most of us already have a good grasp on the meaning of Achievement. But let's explore the concept of Enjoyment a little more. As part of a relevant Work-Life Balance definition, enjoyment does not just mean "Ha-Ha" happiness. It means Pride, Satisfaction, Happiness, Celebration, Love, a Sense of Well Being … all the Joys of Living.

Achievement and Enjoyment are the front and back of the coin of value in life. You can't have one without the other, no more than you can have a coin with only one side. Trying to live a one sided life is why so many "Successful" people are not happy, or not nearly as happy as they should be.

You cannot get the full value from life without BOTH Achievement and Enjoyment. Focusing on Achievement and Enjoyment every day in life helps you avoid the “As Soon As Trap,” the life dulling habit of planning on getting around to the joys of life and accomplishment “as soon as….”

I'd say, "You know, I just want to achieve something today and I want to enjoy something today. And if I do both of those things today, I'm going to have a pretty good day. And if I do both of those things every day, for the rest of my life… I'm going to have a pretty good life." I think that's true for all of us. Life will deliver the value and balance we desire when we are achieving and enjoying something every single day, in all the important areas that make up our lives. As a result, a good working definition of Work-Life Balance is:

Meaningful daily Achievement and Enjoyment in each of my four life quadrants: Work, Family, Friends and Self.

Ask yourself now, when was the last time you Achieved AND Enjoyed something at work? What about Achieved AND Enjoyed with your family; your friends? And how recently have you Achieved AND Enjoyed something just for you?

Why not take 20 minutes on the way home from work and do something just for yourself? When you get home, before you walk in the door, think about whether you want to focus on achieving or enjoying at home tonight. Then act accordingly when you do walk in the door.

At work you can create your own best Work-Life Balance by making sure you not only Achieve, but also reflect the joy of the job, and the joy of life, every day. If nobody pats you on the back today, pat yourself on the back. And help others to do the same.

When you do, when you are a person that not only gets things done, but also enjoys the doing, it attracts people to you. They want you on their team and they want to be on your team.

Simple concepts. Once you focus on them as key components of your day, they are not that hard to implement. So, make it happen, for yourself, your family and all the important individuals you care about, every day for the rest of your life.

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How to Get Everything You Really Want {Honorée}

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