Archives for the power of gratitude

My Best Year Yet: The Top 3 People, Authors and Coaches Who Made It So

Art4theglryofGod by Sharon of Flickr

 

2016 has truly been a spectacular year for my personal and my professional life. I definitely give praise to God, especially because the family members whose health had caused grave concerns in the past all seem to have made tremendous recoveries.

As I reflect on this year, I want to give praise to the mentors, coaches, teachers, and authors who have been the most influential to my best year in business yet.

Before I do that, though, I would like to pass on the utmost gratitude to all of my clients from previous years, this year, and certainly the ones who fall in both categories and allow me to make ongoing contributions to their career. It is only because you are there to allow my gifts to help you that I can fulfill my purpose. As a fan of words, I do not feel like I could ever adequately express just how grateful I am for you.

Now that has been said, I need to acknowledge the people who have enabled me to make increasingly greater contributions to my clients through their wisdom and teachings.

 

THE PEOPLE

Firstly, thank you Ford Myers. From my first few months in business through now being considered a fellow veteran of the industry, I want to thank you for the contribution you made to me, such as letting me borrow your Ultimate Career Guide through writing the foreword to my new book. You helped me build a strong foundation from which I could build my own solid business and reputation. And, thanks to the professional that you are, the industry as a whole in our region has been able to make a greater impact in the lives of corporate professionals. I very much appreciate the times that we were able to sit down and talk philosophy and pragmatism. I hope we will be able to do more of that in 2017.

Ed Samuel, thank you for introducing me to CCI Consulting. You have changed my perception of the quality possible in outplacement programs. You put a tremendous amount of time and energy into your service to others, and as a result, thousands have been able to make their own great contributions. When it is your time to finally slow down, I hope that you will be fully satisfied, joyfully floating on the ripples that reverberate back-and-forth through the pools of professionals who have been impacted by your effort, wisdom, and passion.

Lisa DeLuca, if there is anyone out there who questions the dedication of undergrad career services, I will point them to you to see the optimal example of the positive impact that is possible when career services establishes itself as a progressive partner firmly integrated into an effective preparatory undergrad curriculum. But that’s just who you have been for academia in general, LeBow, and its students. For me, having been self-employed for nine years prior to joining the adjunct faculty, I was encouraged by your patience, compassion, and guidance as I embarked on my own new career adventure. And, I have been impressed with your trust in my experience and how much you and LeBow value that. It has given my confidence and my credibility a boost that has enabled me to reach and help so many more people in 2016.

 

THE BOOKS

These are some books that created a shift in the momentum of my business this year.

The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod

Not only did I read more this year because of the practices that I adopted from this book, but I also grew at an exponential pace. This book and the Facebook community are directly attributable to my growth. I urge you to join a community and read this book, but especially without hesitation because the author is currently fighting cancer. I fully expect that he will recover and come back stronger than ever, but don’t miss your chance to get to know him.

The 4-Hour Workweek by Tim Ferriss

Though I listened to the free audiobook available on YouTube, I recommend that you get the printed copy. I struggled to take notes at the pace that I could listen, and that is about the pace that he delivers the goods. Because of this book not only do I focus more of my time on the things that I enjoy and do best, but I also have been able to help my clients do more in less time. Both are critical when you are working and you begin to transition as well as when you are not working and need income.

Better Than Before by Gretchen Rubin

I learned and teach a lot from this book and because of it I can be more accountable as a coach. In turn, I help my clients achieve better results. I can better understand their tendencies around forming good habits, and help them create an environment that is more conducive to long-lasting positive change that will help them achieve professional as well as personal goals now and in the future.

 

THE COURSES

Since reading The Millionaire Mindset in 2012, I have allocated 10% of my revenue toward education and training, and because of The Miracle Morning, have been more regimented than ever about investing 10% of my time to these pursuits. With more revenue than any other year that I’ve been in the business, I have made a record investment in my own professional development. Here are the courses and coaches that made 2016 my best year yet.

Winning the Game of Money, John Assaraf

It was actually years ago that I invested in this program, and I did go fully through it, and it did make an impact, but I had two babies at home. Unless you’ve been there, it is challenging to describe how the needs of two little humans can fracture your focus. I will never regret my decision to work from home with my kids, but if I could change anything about that time in my life it would have been to be more at peace with that life decision and not feel as pressured to keep a certain pace with my business. Feeling ready to refocus with my oldest attending a full day of school, I repeated this course in the spring this year, which was exactly when the shift occurred.

I enjoyed a very steady pipeline of great clients, was invited to participate in or speak at great events, and was offered unprecedented opportunities to partner with organizations I respected. In the past 10 years of being in business, especially when my children were babies, revenue was so unpredictable it was very challenging to make plans, like committing to family vacations. This is the first year we were able to do that, and my husband and I even went on a romantic getaway of our own. While self employment offers freedom to manage your own schedule and choose who you work with, it is not really freedom unless you have the resources, time, and money to do what you wish. I got my first taste of that freedom this year, and I thank John Assaraf and this program for that. If you are on my mailing list, then you have been informed of this program before. If you are not on my mailing list, please join to stay informed of influential resources like this as I discover them.

Consciousness Engineering, Vishen Lakhiani

I have been a member of MindValley for many years now, and have had it to thank for new spiritual awakenings and awareness. In 2016 the founder, Vishen Lakhiani, a curator of consciousness courses, started his own series. He interviews thought leaders covering a variety of different realms of life, learning, and spirituality. Each interview is like a system upgrade download, intended to level up your systems for living that enable you to progress and grow at an exponential pace. This means that the 10% of my time that I have been dedicating to my own professional development has actually produced exponential results.

However, what I see is being the most beneficial components of this course to my clientele have been the inspiration that he and his coaching cohorts are to me, helping me to find a vision of my own future in which I am making a contribution to millions, and some of the stories are just every day people who either experienced extraordinary events, or who experienced ordinary events and created something extraordinary from the experience. The more I expose myself to these real-life stories, the greater the gravitational pull of my hope is, which makes me more excited to get out of bed in the morning, and pushes me to complete a milestone before I rest my head for the night. Anytime I have a commute of 45 minutes or more, I listen to this program. I do not think I can count on both of my hands and toes how many times I have cited this course to my clients, especially when they start to doubt if their dreams are possible. I have come to see belief as a critical ingredient to epic success, but it does not always come easily. Consistent reinforcement is necessary sometimes to generate the kind of belief that turns what is possible into what is probable. That is the major contribution that this course has had on me and my clients in 2016.

Journaling Mastery, Derek Rydall

Because of The Miracle Morning, journaling, aka scribing, has been a part of my routine. I have always been a fan of journaling. Many of the books that I read have journaling components, and, though it takes that much longer to complete these books, they tend to have the greatest impact on my self-awareness and, therefore, the actions that I take toward my vision. I do not know if this 30-day course is still available for individual purchase, but I can tell you that it inspired me to create my own 30-day journaling guide, which is available as of this Wednesday: Laser-sharp Career Focus: Discover your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days.

It wasn’t just the format that was inspired by Derek, however. As the world’s leading expert on the Law of Emergence, based on his teachings I changed my paradigm and the model that I used to help my clients discover their purpose and passion from one that is less about receiving input and more about guiding them further inward to help them acknowledge what is already within them and wanting to emerge. It changed the whole process from one of pushing to allowing oneself to be pulled, which requires a lot less motivation, a force that most of us cannot sustain long enough to overcome challenges and create our dreams.

 

Next week I will share with you what is on deck for 2017. I have a full library of books, courses and events that will help me continue my personal and professional growth sprint and enable me to assist you even better in yours.

 

Have a happy, healthy, prosperous new year!

 

Is Chasing a Salary Keeping You Poor?

work by Karl Bedingfield of Flickr

work by Karl Bedingfield of Flickr

Ask someone to tell you how a job enables them to live the lifestyle they want and many people will reply with a good salary, a 40-hour work week, health benefits, a retirement plan, and a steady rise in pay. This job usually does not incorporate following their passions, as most people are taught to value safe and uninteresting over doing what they really love.

A major twentieth century work myth is that landing a job at a company and working from 9 to 5 will cement job security and stability. This was the best way to ensure that one could afford their desired lifestyle. Unfortunately, this is a fallacy. It does not exist and no company can offer such security. Individuals must take it upon themselves to learn the life skills to navigate today’s job market (we teach these skills through our Dream Job Breakthrough System) in order to generate their OWN job security. The reality is that like most people, you will be looking for another job in one to five years. The Millionaire Next Door brings up some interesting facts: “Self-employment in ‘dull’ industries and living below your means seems to be the way most millionaires achieve their wealth, and they have far fewer worries than the financially ‘underperforming.’”

The takeaway is that if you spend your professional life chasing a salary, this action could keep you poor. Instead, pursue what you love and the lifestyle you want will follow.

 

Your mindset matters

When you pursue your interests, you are doing what you really love and as a result you are fully engaged. As John Williams writes in Screw Work, Let’s Play, “You can’t really excel at something when your heart isn’t in it, so if you do want to get rich, choose something that feels more like play than work. It makes good business sense; you can’t compete with someone who loves what they do.” If you are completing a task and you are completing it just to finish it because it is something you have to do, you will see some results. That said, those results will not compare with the results of someone who completes the task with joy. They are completing the task with the mindset that they GET to do the task, not that they HAVE to do the task. This is a mindset of gratitude. In his INC.com article, Contributing Editor Geoffrey James wrote about the power of gratitude. People who approach their lives with a sense of gratitude have a constant awareness of what is wonderful. In turn, they enjoy the results of their success and seek out more success. Additionally, when faced with setbacks, grateful people can put their failures into perspective.

If you are passionate about your work, it does not feel like work. If you are enjoying what you do, it is easier to remain engaged and overcome challenges. Just imagine being passionate about your work each waking day. You are more creative, more motivated, and willing go further in your career to achieve success. Even in times of boredom, you still love the process and find it easier to complete tasks as a result. Furthermore, your passion will enable you to grow and to learn new skills and take on more responsibility.

 

Are you choosing a salary over happiness?

Do you REALLY want to spend your life doing what you tolerate or dislike? If you tolerate your job because it brings stable pay, health insurance and other benefits, you may be assuming that you cannot have benefits AND have a job that fulfills you. Sacrificing your happiness and passion may seem like a small price to pay for stability. However, feeling stuck in a career you are not excited about may lead to a death-like life. Spending too much time at a disliked job is often one of the regrets of the dying. Over time you find you lack the passion to enjoy what you love and become stuck in a cycle of “good enough.” In this state of mind, it becomes difficult to find the motivation to grow and to improve. If you are not constantly growing and improving, you are stagnating, which means a lower earning potential, especially if you tend to shy away from risks.

This may bleed into other areas of your life. Suddenly, you have lost that loving feeling for life! Stagnation is a threat because it is harder to find the motivation to learn new skills to take on new responsibilities, a new position and potentially more income. When people are stagnant, they lose their vigor, they feel older, age faster, feel less valuable, and ultimately make less money. That means struggling more to take care of the big things such as house renovations, the kids’ college tuition and having to work into your older years, instead of enjoying retirement. Dr. Abigail Brenner writes in Psychology Today that stepping out of your comfort zone (i.e., the safe and familiar) is essential for growth. The irony is heartbreaking because isn’t financial stability reason why people chase salary over their passions? It is a fallacy. As Jim Carrey said, “you can fail at what you don’t want, so you might as well take a chance with what you do want.”

Consider the bigger picture– you simply do not know how much time you may have left on this Earth. In April 2014 I had two conversations that represented two different views of work. One was that it is okay to not to be inspired by your job, as long as you can do what you love during your free time. In another conversation, I was reminded of the possibilities when people spend their invaluable time using their talents and applying their passion. Not long after those conversations, I received the terrible news that my nephew had passed. Losing someone so young and so suddenly reinforced the idea we may not have until tomorrow to pursue our passions.

 

When you only work for a salary and you have no passion for your job, you run the risk of becoming trapped in a vicious cycle. You spend 40 or more hours at a job you do not like because you think it brings stability to your life, but most are finding they are just keeping their heads above the water. Instead of finding happiness, there is just anxiety and stress. It is not long before unhappiness, disengagement, and stagnation arrive. Why not work toward your passion now? Imagine being in love with your job. When work is your passion it becomes easier to grow, to take risks, and to ultimately trust that the money will follow.