Archives for August 2013

Work-Life Balance? 5 Questions to Ask Yourself…and Answer Honestly!

balance

Are you tired of working too many long hours? Do you feel occasional pangs of guilt that you “should be” spending more time with your loved ones? Or working out and staying fit? Or engaging in your hobbies and passions? Or keeping up with the stacks of unread books and magazines? Or just going out and having more fun?  

You’re not alone. For women with a successful career track record, a yearning for “work-life balance” is high on the list of desires. If you find yourself in this situation, ask yourself these 5 questions … and be completely honest with yourself as you answer them:

    1. How often is the “should” word coming up in your thoughts and feelings of guilt? The word “should” is a big clue that you’re feeling external pressures from family, friends, and society. It means you’re not feeling like you’re totally empowered to make your own choices. Assume you ARE empowered to make your own choices. Then ask yourself how would you spend your time, if you had it YOUR way?
    2. Do you worry that you would be perceived as not being committed enough to your job if you went home before 6pm? Many women over-work to over-compensate for lack of self-esteem/self-confidence. Sheryl Sandburg said in her best selling book “Lean In”: “ Slowly, it began to dawn on me that my job did not really require that I spend 12 full hours a day in the office. I had believed that others were demanding this of me … but in truth I was torturing myself.” Unfortunately, the traditional practice of judging employees and promotability by face time rather than results still persists in most companies. But ask yourself if the promotable men in your office are working as many hours as you are. If they’re not, then why are you?
    3. Are you spending all your time at work because your home life isn’t very satisfying? Or because you have no one to come home to? Or because you’re avoiding certain people in your life? Many of us, especially women who are going through a rocky transition in their personal life such as divorce, separation, or an unsatisfying marriage ALSO have a tendency to bury themselves in their work as an “escape”. Of course that’s a trap because if spend all our time working, how can we ever hope to “have a life” and develop new relationships? Could you be a more interesting, multi-dimensional person if you spend time on a variety of activities and passions, and not just work?
    4. Is it difficult to say “No” to people who request your help or your time? Many women have difficulty saying “No” because they need to be liked, and don’t want to turn people away. Take a close look at how you spend your time. Are you focusing most of your time on truly important activities? What activities can you let go of? Stop feeling guilty. Learn to say “No” very tactfully, and with a smile. It’s time to set clearer boundaries so that you don’t get drained of your precious energy. And once you set your boundaries and communicate them to the people in your life, then stick by them.
    5. Are you trying to do everything yourself?  Have you tried delegating tasks to other people … and given up because they didn’t meet your expectations? Many of us are perfectionists. We have very high standards and we like to see things done our way. The problem is that if we insist on adhering to our standards, we end up doing everything ourselves. Effective delegation requires that the person to whom you are delegating have the right skills, experience, and motivation to succeed. This includes tasks at home as well as at your workplace. You may have to train them as well as communicate the expected outcomes and timeframes. But they need some freedom to do the task the best way THEY think it should be done, which might be different than how YOU would do it. Let them do it. Done is better than perfect, isn’t it?

The best way to achieve work/life balance and make room for both life and career is to make deliberate choices, set your limits and stick by them. Do the best with what you’ve got, make the best choices you can … and accept them. You’ll have peace of mind and a lot less stress.

Do you agree? I’d love to get your comments below.

Keiko

– See more at: http://wingsforwomen.net/blog/#sthash.CGya4osX.dpufs

Top 5 Secret Weapons in Mission-driven Careering

How this mining thing stays in the side of the mountain is beyond me.

How this mining thing stays in the side of the mountain is beyond me.

“You may be right. I may be crazy. But it just may be a lunatic you’re looking for.”

~ Billy Joel

 

The fall is coming, and that means that my freedom will soon be limited. Soon my husband’s busy work season and his swim season will start simultaneously, leaving me once again to feel like a single work-at-home mom of two spunky toddlers. While most parents enjoy the freedom that they gain when their kids return to school, I will be readjusting, adapting and experimenting with new regimens that enable me to fulfill my personal and professional missions while enjoying some sanity with my new time restrictions.

My missions?

#1 – Watch my kids grow up.  Be there while they are little. Witness all of their “firsts.” Be the one that raises them.

#2 – Revolutionize job seeking into Epic Careering.  Empower one million people to discover, pursue and promote their passions and achieve their ideal quality of life.

#3 – Reduce the time and distance between talent and the companies that need it. Optimize productivity for organizations in the process, so that they can expand and create even more jobs – 1 million of them, as a goal.

#4 – I guess I also want a clean, orderly house and office, but I’ll settle for sanitary at a minimum.

 

This is pretty crazy, right? It’s certainly unreasonable to think that I could have it all.  Well, you can call me unreasonable. I’ve been called many things – tenacious, an idealist, a dreamer. You’re all right! I do believe that I can have it all. It requires a lot of expansion (which is code for inner conflict.) But know that if I’m asking you to take a leap of faith in your dreams and fill crevices of time with activities and resources that move you toward that, I am damn sure going to be doing it myself.

What may surprise you are my secret weapons for achieving all of this.

  1. Meetup.com
  2. Brain training
  3. Overdrive media console
  4. Social media
  5. My team

I have referred before to brain training, and I can tell you that meditation and hypnotherapy are also part of my regular routine. I will share more about these in a future blog.

This week, to take full advantage of the time that I have, I filled up my evenings with activities, events, and opportunities for learning and networking. Want to know what that looks like?

Here’s a peak:

 

Monday –

My client call in the evening was postponed, so I spent time reaching out to other thought leaders on social media, such as LinkedIn and Twitter. Simultaneously, I listened to an e-book on Overdrive Media Console that I downloaded from my local library – The Most Successful Small Business in the World, by Michael Gerber (author of the e-Myth.) I am learning how to multiply my business by 10,000 to achieve mission #2.  I also listened to this while driving to and from events and preparing meals.

 

Tuesday –

I had a mommy meetup at 6, and met two other work-at-home moms. I thought everyone in the meetup worked a 9-5, so I was pleasantly surprised to find that we could trade sentiments and tips about working from home and addressing some usual toddler behavior. My girls and I made a couple new friends. Then at 8 I attended a webinar on “Accelerated Goal Achievement” by John Assaraf (brain training) while getting my kids to bed. Even while my neighbor stopped by for some goodnight hugs from my girls, I learned how to confront the fears that stand to hold me back in missions #2 and #3. Then I worked on a cover letter for a friend and client who believes that this one particular company is the place that he can achieve Epic Careering.  Send him your most positive thoughts for a prompt, enthusiastic reply.

 

Wednesday –

I attended a webinar while playing with my niece and nephew and daughters in the pool, “Profiting from the Positive,” sponsored by Peoplefluent. I learned about this from a LinkedIn HR group. It was probably more appropriate for those in a larger corporate environment, but I got some great insight on how I can use positive psychology to provide my intern with the most beneficial feedback to conclude her summer internship and how I can elicit optimized performance from my clients as well. I finished that cover letter, updated a résumé, and flew home to get dressed for a meetup. Though I was late, I wouldn’t miss Gloria Bell speak at AWeber on “Building Business One Story at a Time.” I may have found the speaker I was seeking for my social media sub-group (hopefully, if Gloria is interested – fingers crossed) and I became aware of a greater opportunity in my social media outreach to connect with my audience in a more profound and powerful way.  Too, boot, I caught up with one contact I knew from another networking group, DIG. I learned so much more about what he does for small businesses. I may just have some leads for him. I also met another gentleman who shares my passion for non-toxic home products. If we hadn’t stayed late to chat, I might have only learned about his association with a bakery I used to live near and frequent (pre-gluten-free days.)

 

Tonight, though I would love it if I could meet with my client and attend the DIG monthly meeting, I can only meet with my new client, but I am so grateful to be able to do so.

I left a lot of my daytime activities out because, well, you don’t have all day to read this. My intern did spend a day with me at home to see how it get’s done, as well as what sometimes doesn’t get done, like laundry and dishes. I thought it would give her some insight as to how time can be optimized and how some challenges (not all – I mean they are kids who have accidents and make messes) to time management can be overcome.

You don’t have to be a lunatic like me. Your missions may be much more reasonable. Still, my secret weapons can do just as much for you, so take a little time to define your missions (if you haven’t already) and explore how my secret weapons can help you.

Teaching people the tidbits, nuggets and diamonds of wisdom that I gather through these resources and activities is what drives the services and products that we offer.  I am always looking for ways to be valuable to you, and I hope you know that you can let me know if there is something that we can do additionally.

 

What are your secret weapons?

 

“Anyone who stops learning is old, whether at twenty or eighty. Anyone who keeps learning stays young. The greatest thing in life is to keep your mind young.”

~ Henry Ford

The One Thing You MUST Give Up To Have A Successful Full or Part-Time Business

Man with adhesive notes in his office

 

According to a 2012 survey, 51 % of Americans would rather be self-employed and 44%  think it would be possible for them to go into business for themselves within the next five years — a figure that has increased 8 percentage points since 2009.

Despite the large number of people who want to be in charge of their career, only 6% are currently self-employed.

Why the huge discrepancy?

If so many people want the freedom and independence of being an entrepreneur, what is stopping them?

The results of the survey are fascinating.

4% can’t come up with a business idea.
15% didn’t have enough capital.
10% say they lack the necessary skills.
2% say administrative barriers hold them back.

When I read those numbers I was surprised. They don’t seem to ring true. There are millions of ideas, people who are interested in investing, and anyone can learn a new skill.

So what is the real reason so few people are entrepreneurs?
Fear.
YOU MUST GIVE THIS UP IF YOU WANT SUCCESS

The thought about something that hasn’t happened.
Old fashioned, garden variety fear.

What stops most people from being an entrepreneur, is the fear of going bankrupt or the fear of an irregular income.

When people feel that their current situation, no matter how awful it is, guarantees a steady income, it’s hard to give up that perception of security for uncertainty. (Think of all of your friends who are stuck working with rude, negative, and even nasty people. They may talk about leaving to start their own business, but where are they now? Yep. They’re still there.)

The fear of reducing income is so big that it even stops people from trying to start their business on a part-time basis even while they are employed.

Of all the classes that are taught in business school, it’s clear that a comprehensive course in getting over the fear of starting your full or part-time career is needed.

Wharton, are you listening?

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

What get’s in your way of starting your full or part-time business? Share your comments below. Someone might have a great solution for you. 🙂

Wendy Merron is a Certified Hypnotherapist, Founder of The Center for Success in Wayne, PA and author of Powerful Thinking on Purpose.

Oops, they did it again! Are the job numbers that bad?

We are actually BACK up to June 2005 employment levels and 162K jobs is a GREAT increase in jobs over the

sadlady

summer months, but a biased “journalist” would have you believe that the economy is getting better about as fast as my daughter’s diaper rash. (You can see from her expression that it’s not getting better at all.)

This really burns me up.

It’s why I chose NOT to pursue a career in journalism, which was my initial career choice when I went to college. However, I learned how moguls use their influence, power, and chain of command to spin news and numbers into byte-sized nuggets intended to sway an audience to adopt their paradigms.

I know that’s hypocritical, considering I blog to convince people to choose my way of careering, but that’s completely justifiable because Epic Careering is clearly the best careering.

But seriously, there seems to be no justifiable reason for a professional journalist to leverage their visibility to needlessly prevent people from getting excited about good news, even if it is not as good as it could or should be. The true data is not as this particular journalist portrays it. That’s  just irresponsible.

First of all, if you look at the historic data available on the BLS.gov site, you will see that there are not many great jumps in jobs added during the “better” years, or from 2003 to 2008. September is traditionally the 2nd busiest hiring month and summer is traditionally slower. I know in a recovering economy, we would all hope for a bigger surge, but there ain’t no cure for the summertime blues. You may even see an even LOWER addition of jobs over August, and it still doesn’t mean anything, because if this September is anything like almost every other September, those numbers will jump back.

The journalist ALSO attributes the lower unemployment rates to people leaving the workforce again. We’ve seen the AP do this before INACCURATELY!  This made me so upset last September, I started blogging, so perhaps I should thank them?

Call them what you want – Doomsdayers, party crashers, downers – they echo the same detrimental sentiments that slow down progress – “the news is okay, but don’t celebrate yet, because it’s not as great as it would be if ‘we’ were in charge. Since we’re not, we’re just going to find something to complain about. Come and join our pity party, because we love being right and we don’t know how to be happy if ‘we’ aren’t in charge.”

My questions – who “promised” that the unemployment rate would be much lower than 7.4% by now and who projected that the net added jobs should have been higher than 162K for July?

I think it has already been established that no one, well, at least Obama, did not make any promises about what the unemployment rate would be.  I couldn’t find any projections on jobs added for July 2013, and I contacted the BLS myself to find out.

As for how much of a decrease in unemployment is actually attributed to discouraged workers leaving the workforce, here are the ACTUAL numbers:

On a table published August 2, 2013 on BLS.gov, it states that from July 2013 to July 2013, 136,000 people have left the workforce due to discouragement (“people who did not actively look for work in the prior 4 weeks for reasons such as thinks that there is no work available, could not find work, lacks schooling or training, employer thinks too young or old, and other types of discrimination”).

So in one year, 136,000 people abandoned the workforce due to discouragement. In that year, 906,000 people left the workforce in total, but many of the reasons stated have more to do with personal situations and “marginal attachment,” meaning they weren’t looking all that hard.  So that means only 15% of the total unemployed people left because they were discouraged.

How many of them saw the media report on slanted data and just thought, “I give up! The economy isn’t getting better fast enough to create enough jobs, and so I won’t be able to find one.” Do you see how this type of reporting is making the problem worse?

Additionally, as you can see from this chart, employment, hours and earning have stabilized.

I mean, I see people getting jobs all the time, some of them in spite of impressive challenges, like long-term unemployment. From my vantage point I can see that very few unemployed professionals have the skills and tools necessary to optimize and accelerate their transitions, and that is much more the reason for long-term unemployment than the economy. And it’s also why we are here.  How foolish we would be to be here if everyone was really just giving up.

DON’T GIVE UP and don’t buy the negative hype. You may be experiencing some discouraging results in your job transition, but don’t make it mean that Epic Careering success isn’t possible for you, because IT IS!  If you can come up with the “why,” we can help you with the “how.” And here’s a vlog for you, discouraged job seekers to help you diagnose why your career might be in it’s own all-too-slow recovery.

 

Slay your demons and be the hero! www.epiccareering.com