Build Your Leaders

Archive for April, 2010

Success Doesn’t Mean Suffering

April 25th, 2010

I was taught suffering equal success. You have to work hard in life to make anything happen. Sometimes you do, but I am learning often you don’t. Sometimes good things just happen and require very little effort.

The hit book The Secret, and movie of the same title, popularized the notion of manifesting. “Go through the drive-in, shout into the clown’s face, drive up, and pick up your order,” it seemed to say. In my experience, manifesting isn’t that pat. I wish I had “the secret” for it, but I don’t.

I do know people, places, things, circumstances, and events seem to line up for me when I am operating from joy, or as Walter Russell said, doing what I love to do.

When my primary motivation is connection and contribution, I am operating for the highest good for myself and others. The result may not be that originally I envisioned, but it’s almost always a positive one.

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Easier Said than Done

April 12th, 2010

Additional thoughts on how to survive the new economy. Spring has sprung in Asheville and you can feel the dark mood lift—for now. Winter’s cold took its toll. At least that’s what most folks are saying, but I believe there’s more to it. The weather reflects something more profound: the death of life as we knew it.

Many haven’t articulated it—most aren’t even conscious of it—but there’s a heaviness hanging in the air that’s like a dense, damp fog. Even those not affected by the economy can sense it: a shift is taking place.

A lot of people, including me, have speculated on where we’re headed, but we can only speculate. None of us has a crystal ball. The only thing we know for sure is that change is inevitable. We cannot keep on keeping on like we have been.

Last week, I shared my strategy for surviving and thriving in the new economy: find the “sweet spot” between your mission and the market. It’s a simple strategy, yet a hard one to implement.

I am lucky; I’m clear on my mission: “to help professionals stand in their power by becoming the full expression of all they are,” but my understanding of the market is murkier. The million dollar question is how to make my mission relevant to these times.

I have some ideas;  I’m even writing a book on one. Only time will tell if I’m on target.

For now, all I can do is stay hyper-alert and not cave into fear and feelings of lack. I will seek new ways to serve and be grateful for all that I have.

One of the things I am most grateful for is you. Thank you for your reading this blog.

P.S. I’d love your thoughts. What is your strategy for surviving and thriving in the new economy?

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How to Succeed in The New Economy

April 4th, 2010

Focus on contribution. Few of us have escaped being affected negatively by this “new economy.” Many people who’ve been brought to their knees are frightened.

The phone isn’t ringing, and the banks aren’t answering my calls. If I don’t get a loan, I could lose my house.

I am making half of what I made two years ago, and I’m working four times harder.

I am trying to stay positive, but it’s getting tougher. I’m treading water, but tiring fast. If this keeps up, it’s just a matter of time before I drown.

What once worked no longer works, and change is scary. Many keep on keeping on—nose to the grindstone—hoping the market will turn around before they deplete their savings. Others don’t have that luxury. They’ve lost their jobs, drained their savings, and are running out of options.

To these men and women, concentrating on contribution seems ludicrous. “Charity begins at home, and my home is increasingly looking like a charity,” one client shared.

I wish I had an easy silver-bullet solution, but I don’t. My own practice has suffered over the past two years. That said, this I know: the secret to navigating the new economy—for that matter, any economy—is to look for the magical place where your mission and the market meet.

My friend Eric is a great example of how this principle can work. Eric ran one of the finest restaurants in Asheville, The Savoy. The by-reservation-only, white-tablecloth restaurant was known regionally—if not nationally—as one of Asheville’s finest culinary experiences, and its prices reflected its blue-ribbon reputation. When the economy tanked and business began to wane, Eric responded. He reformatted the restaurant into a lower-priced, family-style neighborhood restaurant, Vinnie’s, and the place is now packed.

Eric knows his mission: to serve good people good food. Eric took his passion and purpose and adapted them to the market, and now he’s enjoying success. This kind of success is available to all of us if we only look for the place where our mission and the market meet.

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