Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Halloween Sizzle - Grab a Costume, Shake it Off

Okay, don't shake off the costume...that could get a little crazy. Yep, it's HALLOWEEN again, and the kids and crazies are all coming out with bells and costumes on. My kids' choice this year - a dalmation and Neytiri from Avatar. At first I laughed - I don't think you could get two more polar opposite kids. After thinking about it though, it makes complete sense.

Both of my kids are individuals, but they are incredibly passionate about what they love to do or love to follow (I'd have to say, that's American consumerism at its finest on the one hand; on the other, it's youthful innocence who wear their hearts on their sleeves). Both chose costumes of what they admired, who they wanted to BE in life. For Maizie, my oldest, she loved Neytiri in that movie - I haven't seen her moved like that in a while by anything, much less a blue creature with dreads! Back to the point - what she admired was the chance to be skillful among the boys; a graceful expert within her people; a respected member of a tribe; and a "tough girl."

So bring that same philosophy in our business world - like begets like, and we become what we hang around with. It's our choice to seek out people who we want to "be" like when we grow up - people who will be good mentors or friends; help us grow in our careers; or just become a better person overall. Sometimes, it's easier to find the people to hang around that are how we feel - maybe they complain about the economy; or they don't know what to do in their lives; or they feel lost. It's good to be a friend to others, but if the majority of your friends are in this mindset, it's going to be more challenging to keep your mental state moving forward.

I'm not advising you to ditch your friends - actually, quite the opposite. This time of year is awesome for dropping the inhibitions and grasping what you want to be. Okay, so that might be one night, Halloween, through a costume - but who's judging? Not me. I'm all about a catalyst for change, and if it's a Wonder Woman costume that gets you jarred out of negative thinking, by all means - GO TO TOWN! You can also support friends in this effort, especially if they are feeling down. Have a good time, use it as a creative tool to speak a "vision board" of sorts - if they had anyone in the world to choose who they'd like to be, who would it be? How can they take on those traits? How can they ultimately win here?

So go grab a costume, start your change. You never know - maybe YOU are the one who someone else wants to be like someday. It all starts with a little spark!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

BE BOLD. THINK BOLD.

Anyone who knows me, knows that I have been on the “positive thinking” journey for a year now. I’ve poured through The Secret, The Seven Spiritual Laws of Success, The Happiness Project, and most recently, It’s Your Time by Joel Osteen (and just about everything he’s ever written). I started a business about 14 months ago, and it was with the idea that I am absolutely committed to a dream and making it work.

In the process, I’ve taken a lot of risks. The foundation behind risk is a huge level of confidence – that kind of unflagging, unwavering, absolute belief in oneself that no one can “naysay.” I’ve produced four vision boards with my dreams plastered all over them; written my affirmations on paper, releasing them to the universe at the beginning and the end of each day for a year (with a few tweaks here and there…it’s fun to look at the drafts). Now, I’m ready to take it to a new level- making those affirmations BOLD, SUPERNATURAL STATEMENTS.

Going through your life, it’s easy to think that there are other people who are “worse off” than you are. Meaning, Joe the neighbor lost his job last year and hasn’t found anything new – so HE is the one who deserves blessings today to find something. Or Suzy has been sick with a debilitating disease, so SHE is the one who deserves prayers first in her life. Now, I don’t want to get controversial – yes, of course Joe and Suzy need your prayers and your positive thoughts. However, you were put on this earth to do something AMAZING.

That amazing thing might not be realized or actualized just yet, but every time you think you don’t deserve to have those big dreams come to fruition (meaning, someone else deserves it more, or you have “a good life” already and should just be thankful for that) – you are doing yourself a disservice. Joel Osteen likes to put it this way – he’s all about being humble and thankful for what he has, but he sure would be sad if he found out his big dream was just a mile away from his acceptance of living in his “okay life.”

What does this mean today? At its basic level, DREAM BIG, BOLD DREAMS. When I heard this, I took a look at my affirmations on paper. I realized that I had a lot of “wills.” Translation – I wrote down things that could happen someday, but really weren’t worth a hill of beans until I put them BIG AND BOLD in the present tense. Here, I’ll give you an example. My business is primarily in NASCAR PR, although I have clients outside of motorsports. I love motorsports, and my top affirmation used to say, “I will have a NASCAR hard card with full-time paying clients in all three Series in 2011.”

Positive statement, right? Sure, but it says I WILL. I will what, and when? That could be years from now. So throwing a BIG statement, nice and bold, rewritten: “I HAVE a NASCAR hard card with full-time paying clients in all three Series in 2011.” Now, it’s present tense, and it’s up to me to keep making the phone calls, doing the work, exceeding expectations and going the extra mile for my current clients. The added bonus – everything I do for them this year makes strides so that THEY can be those full-time teams next year. It’s a win win, because I have faith in them too.

So not to make this all about me, but it’s a good example. I’m living proof that dreaming big isn’t selfish. You’re literally just fulfilling the universe’s full promise for you, so that once you leave this earth you can look back and say, “I did what I was supposed to do for the world.”

If you don’t know what that dream or purpose is just yet, it’s okay. Take some time to tap into things you love to do. How can you make that something that you do every day and help others? Make a plan, and write down BOLD STATEMENTS to get there. Don’t worry about the how. The how figures itself out after you state the WHAT. Be a rock star and be bold!

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Who, me...volunteer in my work life?

I'm going to tackle a semi-controversial topic in this blog - but hey, I've never been one to shy away from at least a LITTLE controversy. If it starts a conversation, it's worth a shot.

The "V" word. No, not high school biology - actually, volunteerism. I don't mean in the traditional sense...via a soup kitchen, Habitat for Humanity, or some other nonprofit service venture. Today, I'm talking about volunteering to heed your calling. Maybe I'm a little more guilty of this one than others, as I run my own business and have to get creative as to building new relationships. The more I think on it, however, I think it applies to any adult - whether you run your own firm, or you work for a corporation.

Let's put it this way - do you have a dream? Okay, most of us would say, "yes, affirmative" on that one. If you don't, no offense, but start thinking & start...um...living? Segue, sorry. Back to that dream - what are you willing to do in order to make that dream a reality? Sacrifice? Toil? Make a financial contribution?

Well, what if I told you that you don't have to do any of the above? Well, unless you consider going unpaid a "sacrifice," which I'd deem a little dramatic. Your dream is waiting in the wings for you, just ready for you to take steps to actualize it. Depending on what it is, I guarantee if you volunteer your time first towards that cause, it will be karmic debt paid to you to increase your odds of a succesful venture.

Scratching your head? Okay, example time. Every client I've ever signed on in my firm, with the exception of my former employer (whom I consult for now) - I volunteered my services, or came on at a reduced rate, for first. It might sound insane, and yes, I've certainly had some interesting stories along the way - but it was the single most important way I could build trust with my future clients. If I believed in what they were doing SO much, that I would put my most valuable asset in life - time - on the line for them...how could they not know I was on board?

Each active client pays now, and I've earned that keep - and even to the tune of referrals, which is incredibly humbling. Do I have to still get out there and work it every day? ABSOLUTELY, I'm a small business owner. My day screams hustle. Love it!

BIG POINT HERE - massive emphasis - not every venture you volunteer for, will actually turn into business. Put a huge stamp on that letter in your head that says, "that's not why I'm doing this." Volunteering in business is not a means to an end, you can't approach it with ulterior motives. If you approach it almost like an internship with said business or person, you gain the following towards your dream: 1)field knowledge, ie, "boots on the ground entrenchment;" 2)valuable relationships; 3)resume building.

I also want to make the point that this is going towards a DREAM - meaning, something you're probably not doing right now in your daily life. For me, it was starting my PR firm and stating the affirmations every day, "I go above & beyond for every single client who trusts me with their business," and "I am THE most successful PR person that will ever exist on the planet." Bold dreams, bold statements...but both statements that I'm willing to do whatever it takes to make happen. No ego here- it's destiny and I believe it.

Joel Osteen gives a great quote - "You have to pray BOLD prayers. You have to watch out for the little ones, as you just might get what you pray for today." So in that quest to achieve your dream, throw it out there to the universe - and then give your TIME & energy to it. Volunteer. Build your base. Quit having an ego (and I work in some pretty ego-driven industries). Who cares what you make? The ones who care are the ones who are not responsible for your dreams.

So the next time you approach that dreaded "V" word in business, don't be afraid to go do it. As long as it's a NEW venture, you're ready, willing & able to go prove yourself as a new expert in your dream field - & the money will come. I promise.

In the name of V, rock stars...DKC