Hot & Bothered

Taking a collective breath away from the anger and rage floating around, let’s rather steady ourselves. When reacting out of anger, we do not see clearly. Anger gives a flashpan of energy, but does not sustain results that are for any of our long-term good.

Scorched earth tactics do not work well with humans.

Take a moment. Breathe. Let’s find the generous room inside ourselves to see beyond our righteous, justified, and possibly well-deserved anger. We can consider the choices of grace, compassion, and mercy instead.

Getting Schooled in Generosity

You’ll know it when it happens: that extra serving of sumptin’ sumptin’ piled high on your plate or in your arms or into your truck bed.

Y’all today I got me a lesson in generosity.

No animosity. No lecture. No, “Honey, that’s not how we do things around here.” No blank stare of unbelief at your ignorance or thoughts of ill will towards your fellow man. Nothing in fact to make you even realize that you might have misstepped.

Just poured over the top of you abundance. Where you walk away dazed and wondering, “What just happened?” And if you can manage to sit still for a moment and go over the conversation/event and ponder “what just happened” it will dawn on you with humility.

Child, what happened was you were just modeled a lesson. A lesson in generosity. In how we are all supposed to behave and treat each other in every circumstance of our lives.

Learn it so you stop embarrassing yourself. And be glad you have such mentors in your life!

The Myths Inside Your Head

We all have myths inside us that we believe are true.

Myths like “eating carrots will make you have perfect eyesight”.

Or, “If I buy this franchise, I’m going to make a million dollars.”

Or, “Advertising doesn’t work, so I don’t have to do it.”

Or, “I can put off for today the work that needs doing to actually succeed at this craft.”

Or, “I’m naturally gifted, so this won’t be hard.”

Take a moment and think about the myths you are holding onto. Myths about ourselves and myths about business and our business in particular. Write them down. They are the elephants in your room/life.

Was that a “Fail”?

I didn’t make bad grades in school. In fact, if I made an “F” more than two or three times, I’d be suprised.

This doesn’t mean I’m a genius: not by any means. It means I went to a small school, was smart enough, and was often given the benefit of the doubt, due to my good nature and character.

This week, I wish I’d have gotten more F’s. More “Kid, you’ve got to get this right the first time and pay better attention.” I made a rather serious mistake on a bid proposal this week that might very well have cost me, and my business associate, the gig. And it was due to rushing, not triple checking my work, or writing out detailed notes to myself, so that when an item was called into question, I actually had a coherent answer instead of trying to rely on my memory, which is feeling a bit overstuffed with “important matters I must retain” mental clutter.

I’ve owned my part. Apologized. And made it as right as I could; however, I don’t know if I’ve retrieved a level of trustworthiness back, and I’m not ok with that. In a word, I failed. It’s awkward. Uncomfortable. And it would be damned easy to sit here and bewail my stupidity.

That’s not going to get me more work. Nor will it help you, should you find yourself in this humbling position. The ONLY thing you can do is move on and do the next right thing: LEARN FROM IT! What did I do wrong? How can I not repeat that error again? What do I need to do to avoid that same pitfall the next time a “shortcut” seems like the answer?

Today, I wrote a letter to a new contact to further strengthen that relationship. Hopefully, some good work will eventually come from there.

Tomorrow, I go and meet a potential client to discuss another proposal for something entirely different. I’m prepared, but I’ll be even more prepared by the time I’m sitting down. I’ve got a list and am taking extra care to listen closely.

Failure is not a fun place to live. I do not plan on building a house here and setting up permanent residence, but it happens. And it will happen again. We’ve just got to have the humility enough to admit our error, rectify it if possible, learn from it, and move on.

By doing those things, we are setting ourselves up for lasting, overall success. And modeling the right behavior for co-workers, friends, and family members as well.

Hello, Human here. I sometimes make mistakes. Try not too, but I do. When I do, I’d appreciate you letting me know, that way I can improve and be a better Human.

Embracing Criticism

Ugg. I’m sure that like me you just can’t wait to hear some critical feedback.

As in a couple of pages worth for a project you and your teammates have invested hundreds of hours on.

You can take two approaches:

  1. Write it off as “They don’t know what they are talking about.”  This allows you to then turn and be critical of their input and proceed to downplay or denigrate every point in self-aggrieved anger and frustration.
  2. Take a deep breath and try to see the project from their point of view. Try to give the feedback space enough in your mental capacity to let it add depth and perspective to the scope of work. This person (or persons) took considerable time to hash out every defect they could find in your work BEFORE it launched publicly. This will probably be the one and only time that this happens, so embrace it. Learn from it. See if you can agree or ammend and find a mutual “win” for both of you.

Choose wisely.


The Art of Listening

The latest statistic states that we have an attention span shorter than a goldfish’s these days.
That literally our focus limit lies optimally between :6s and :15s.
How do you change the world in :15s intervals?
You listen.

If you listen, your client will actually tell you explicitly what it is they need, want, or are afraid of.

They may have the worst case of “SQUIRREL” that you’ve ever encountered, but even those scattered individuals are trying to tell you their message. Trying to get you to hear and understand them. If you can cultivate a mindset for truly listening: not interrupting, not one-upping with your amazing story, but listening and asking guided questions to help them gain clarity, you will hear.

The problem is not being “squirrel activated” yourself.

Focus. If you can focus for :15s, there is hope.