Friday, May 29, 2009

How Many People Will Come to Your Funeral?

Top 5 Ways to Lead an Enriching Life in Business

I lost an amazing friend this past week - someone who inspired thousands of people in his work, personal life and through a very full existence. He managed to pack, in a mere 38 years, at least 300 years of living. This weekend, I will attend his wake & memorial service with friends & family...and there are expected to be HUNDREDS of people there to celebrate this special life (and I say "celebrate," because it is not a time of mourning - JG would have wanted us to throw a party instead!)

I fought with this blog submission all week - how do you write about this? It came to me pretty easily, because I have been so very touched by HOW MANY people have reached out via Facebook, email, CaringBridge and alumni sites to express their emotion. How could one person be like a brother to hundreds and hundreds? Easy. He just subscribed to the theory that everyone was family & treated them as such, every day...and reaped the rewards of having so many unique experiences with so many amazing people.

So in his honor and spirit, and subscribing this to many people would attend your funeral if you died? It's not a popularity contest - it's about how many people you've touched along the way. Here are the top 5 tips to "give back" to others. I'm going to start living them myself!

1) Give back to someone, every day. Relationships, friendships, marriage & family are all work (we like to forget that...since they are "there" all the time, we don't necessarily need to invest in them like we do our work life). Well, we do, every day - and we need to invest the most. By connecting and reconnecting with the people closest to us, we continue cultivating rewarding and fulfilling experiences....thus making the full 24 hours of your day more eventful. It wil make you feel better, even if you're having a bad day, to do something for someone else.

2) Find your inner "six degrees of separation". Go to Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or your alumni websites and find old friends. Don't be afraid that "they won't remember you" or "he didn't like me in high school," you'd be surprised how willing & open people are to just connect with their past. In the journey, you'll be rewarded with new friends, old friends and "friends of friends" who can share stories about the bigger picture. Your network will grow in more ways than just work!

3) Subscribe to the Laundry Theory. A dear friend taught me this one who gives to people all the time...this means, you don't ever look over your shoulder when giving and providing to and for others, you just do it and in time it all comes out in the laundry. If it doesn't, then that person probably doesn't subscribe or understand the meaning of your gift. So give, and give often.

4) Don't sweat the small stuff. When you have tiffs here and there, it's easy to internalize them, dwell about them and want to hold a grudge. Why would we? We're given a finite amount of time on this earth, and every second we spend angry at others is a selfish moment that we can't get back. Lose the attitude and the ego - when things "don't go your way," accept the difference and shrug it off!

5) Tim McGraw sang it best..."Live Like You Were Dying." He's right - if you give it your all, all of the time no matter what you're doing (personal life, work life, spiritual life), you will open yourself up to so many experiences and journeys. Don't wish time away if you're having a bad day - tomorrow you'll wake up after losing 24 hours, and still feel the same. Make it a great day, every day!

So the next time someone says to you, "Let's go to that one-armed arm wrestling contest that's here for one day only!" Instead of laughing it off, take them up on it - because if it will enrich your life; give you quality time with others whom you love; give you a story you can't beat; or just plain give you multiple belly was worth it.

If you'd like to find out more about the person who inspired this post, Major Jason E. George, here are a few links:

To be inspired on Facebook via his Memorial Page:

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Who Moved My Chi?

Top 10 Ways to Keep Positive Energy in Your Work Environment

Ever walk in the door to your workplace, open it, and instantly feel drained? Why is that? It's because you need your own personal version of a "workplace Red Bull," that' why. Negative times breed negative attitudes, which breed what I like to call "Negative Nellies." Are you a Negative Nellie right now? Here are some tips to lose the 'tude...and retune your positive chi!

1) Get your "game face" on. Yep, it's not just for Tiger Woods - learn to amp yourself up on your AM drive time. Throw some hot tunes on the iPod, reward yourself with a Sbux Chai Latte to start the day, or silently pray/recite thanks for what you have in the world.

2) Dress the part. Break out that red "listen to what I'm saying boys" dress (or guys, no need for cross dressing here - you get the picture...throw on a power tie). Make a point to dress one part dressier than the rest - if you feel good, others notice that you feel good.

3) Do one rewarding "pay it forward" thing for someone else. You know the feeling you get when you volunteer for a great cause, or raise funds for a charity? Apply the same to the workplace & you'll feel the same satisfaction. Today's offices have less people doing more work - do something nice to take the load off of a fellow employee, and they will reward you in spades...and will do the same for you.

4) Write 5 "positive affirmations" on a page & use it when you get into a "I'm dealing with Stupid" moment. Everyone's stressed out these days, we get it - but it's no reason to take it out on someone else (and it's like a drinking binge...feels good that night, but boy does it suck afterwards). Write down 5 positive statements about your day - it can be as simple as, "I can get along with anyone." When you get that angry customer on the phone, recite it in your head and remember that you can stay cool at all times.

5) Have a winner's attitude & the law of attraction (and your boss) will work in your favor. Everyone likes a winner, and they want to associate with one. The only difference between winners and losers, is that winners do what losers don't want to do; are afraid to do; or refuse to do.

6) Tackle a tough project. Nothing proves your mettle to you or someone else like doing a great job at something you have NO knowledge about. Test your limits and jump outside your comfort zone - not only will you feel rewarded, but you'll get "props" from others who didn't know you had it in you!

7) Fix something or find a solution. Followup to tip #6 - when you are part of a solution, you feel like you accomplished something as part of the bigger whole. Be a team player, make a process more efficient or find cost savings in your job sphere.

8) Reward yourself for "good workplace behavior." If you keep it clean for a week, pay it forward, get kudos from your boss, etc - set a weekend goal. Buy that new shirt in a hot color you wanted. Or go get an awesome pedicure for the summer. Pavlov proved it best with the pups - stimulus, response!

9) Recite the statement, "There's No Crying in Baseball!" Tom Hanks said it best in A League of Their Own...meaning, put your pants on one leg at a time, like everyone else - and get over it! Roll up your sleeves and get the job done...and you'll feel better about creating a work product at the end of the day.

10) Treat your job like a spouse for a day - fall in love with it. At the end of the day, if you really hate your job, you will do nothing but dread coming in every day. Refocus your attention on what you love to do...and if it's not what you are currently doing, write a business plan for yourself to "get to what you love" within the next year.

Onwards and upwards, my ROCK STARS in development...quit moving your own Chi! Email if you need more Chi help...or just to help increase your sales!

Monday, May 18, 2009

Introduction to the Friday Sizzle

I’ll be blogging on a variety of topics that will be useful to your weekly life:

- How to get ahead in marketing WITHOUT spending your hard-earned $$$
- Using PR to your best advantage
- How to bring out your “inner Rock Star”
- Everyone can be in Sales

…and MORE! Stay tuned, watch next week for my first official Friday Sizzle. In the meantime, make today a rock star day for yourself!