Thursday, July 24, 2014

Let's Get Naked!

In the world of social media, interesting and uplifting things manage to hit my radar every so often. Last week, it was this great story, song and video by an artist, Colbie Caillat, who I would never have heard of as it's not the kind of music I typically listen to. 

You can read the story, and watch and listen to the video at the link behind the pic. 

It not only inspired me as a powerful message for our young women, and some of the older women I know too, but it really got me to thinking about some of those universal truths.

We have all known girls, had girlfriends, or even sometimes been those girls who were so desperate to be in a relationship that they tried to be something they were not. Not in an effort to be false, or to hide or be dishonest, but innocently enough, just trying to be what "that person" wanted, or what she or we thought "that person" wanted.

I think we all also know that in the end, that is not only unsuccessful for the obvious reasons, but it is also kind of unattractive. 

People know when you're not being your authentic self. Maybe they don't know they know it but they sense it. They sense your genuine self. One of those things I can look back and remember learning quite keenly as an Over 40 Female, is the process of learning to like myself. Really like myself. 

The other thing I learned is that it's pretty unreasonable to ask someone else to like you if you don't actually like yourself. 

And here's the universal truth part - this not only applies to romantic relationships, but also to family, friends and business. 

The more you really like that person in the mirror, and the more you really authentically show up as that person in the mirror, the more attractive you become, on every level. 

Don't get me wrong, you won't see me out too often with no makeup or my hair not done, but I am willing to put myself out there naked now. 

It even inspired me to put together a special event with Chicago Over 40 Females

When you're all alone by yourself do you like you?

Thursday, July 10, 2014

Momentum, ROI and Instant Gratification

We've all heard that a body in motion stays in motion and a body at rest stays at rest, right? 

It's tougher to get rolling from a standing stop than from a slow roll, right? 

If anyone had a first car experience like I had, you know what it's like to push a car, and man it is tough to get moving, but once it starts rolling, it doesn't seem so bad.

So why is it SO tough to keep ourselves moving? 

You've also heard the term ROI. Return On Investment, the concept that an investment of some resource will yield a benefit to the investor. In business, we think of ROI most when we are calculating our marketing budget or specific marketing tactics. 

I think our most valuable resource, by far is our time. And here's the BIG danger - we live with an instant gratification mindset. Whether we realize it or not, whether we acknowledge it our not, it's true. 

When it comes to effort in building a business, or getting in shape, or losing weight, we expect linear results. 

I put in x I get y.  I put in 2x I expect to get 2y, right?

But it doesn't work that way. Remember the car? 

So here's what happens... 

Let's look at business prospecting. For the purposes of this illustration, let's accept that there is a ratio of 1 to 10 in lead conversion. You expect that if you talk to 10 prospects, that you will yield 1 customer. 

So, you go out and talk to 10 prospects and get 0 new customers. You talk to 10 more prospects, and get 0 new customers. Now, you're frustrated. You talk to 10 more prospects and get 1 new customer. You look back at your results and get even more frustrated, thinking that your ration is 1 to 30 instead of 1 to 10 and you decide, maybe subconsciously, that the result is not worth the effort.

But if you were to have kept pushing, kept moving forward, you would have found that your effectiveness is likely to dramatically increase. 

10 - 0
10 - 0
10 - 1
10 - 0
10 - 2
10 - 2
10 - 3
10 - 3
10 - 4
10 - 4

Now after talking to 100 prospects, you have 19 new customers, not just 10. But those first 40 seemed fruitless. 

There are loads of reasons that a prospect may not become your customer, and that's not the topic of this blog, but you do need to wrap your mind around that as a business person. It may be a wrong fit, a not now, a lack of need, a lack of urgency. 

The best way to combat the instant gratification monster is tracking. If you track your efforts, you can link it to results over time. 

We've been talking about business (mostly because it's super black and white to understand) but this same principle holds true for exercise, eating healthy, learning something new like meditation or yoga, yard work, there are a million things in life that will respond this same way. 

It would be great if all things were linear, but how BORING!

Keep plugging along, don't get discouraged, and track your efforts and results so you don't end up running behind your car rolling down hill without you. 


Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Hidden Gems

We have lived in our house for 20 years now. I've been an active runner for most of that time. 

When we first moved in, I would run up to a neat park with a tiny zoo and a pond called Lord's Park.

Then the park got pretty crowded, and it was not as pleasurable to run, and I started serious distance training.

So, I'd drive to the local forest preserve and run the path there. I ran this for years both from home and from work.

Then, as luck would have it, they extended the bike path from our neighborhood almost all the way to the forest preserve. With a small stretch where I need to run roadside, I have been running this path now almost exclusively for probably 10 years now. As much as I love running, the path has nearly no shade, and is fairly boring along the roadside.

I recently started exploring. I have found some wonderful gems right in my "back yard". First, I found a disc golf course that was put in across the road from me which winds around a marsh and leads to a nice little park where I can stop for a drink of water. 

Then I found a beautiful park and path around some soccer fields that makes for an interesting, lovely run and a more enjoyable experience for my dog Apex who gets quite riled up by some of the dogs on our normal route.

These have been there for years now without us knowing. How many hidden gems are there in our lives either in our neighborhood or in those around us that we pass every day without ever noticing? 

I invite, no, I challenge you to take some time this holiday weekend and explore and appreciate some hidden gems in your life. I know you won't regret it.