Posts Tagged ‘Inspiration’
You’ve probably heard it said that you are the sum total of the 7 people you hang out with most. So who do you hang out with most? And, do you like who you are and who you are becoming in that company?
If you want to lose weight, hang out with healthy, fit people. It makes it easier. If you want to be more successful, surround yourself with people who are MORE successful than you are. If you want to be in a fulfilling marriage, hang out with other couples who represent that for you.
Conceptually, this sounds great. But, I think it’s harder than it sounds. I know that the people I spend the most time with actually are my children. When they were little, it was hard for my brain to keep from turning to jello sometimes. As an entrepreneur, I spend most of my time working with clients or in pursuit of new clients. I have to make a conscious effort to put myself in environments that stretch me and to surround myself with people who propel me forward.
Here are 7 Ways to Create a Powerful Peer Group:
1. Be at choice about who you spend your time with. Of course there are important people who you are in relationships with that may not serve your vision of who you are becoming. Choose when to spend your time with them and how much time and energy you want to invest in that relationship. I’m not going to stop hanging out with my kids. But, I am intentional about that time. I love to play games with them, help them with their homework, make meals, go to the movies and just hang out with my kids. But, I don’t play Xbox or WOW with them. You get the idea. I also love my extended family dearly. I come from a long line of women who love with food – lots of delicious food. If I am watching my diet, I need to plan ahead when I attend a family event. It’s also true that I love with food and make regular attempts to kill my loved ones with enchiladas and cheesecake. They need to plan accordingly and enlist my support when they come over.
2. Bring the people in your current peer group up with you. So, in the case of my family, especially my immediate family, I am not going to stop eating with them as a long term solution. But, I can enroll them in eating better with me. Now, I have a peer group that supports me. You can do this with your office staff, your management team, the Little League moms or any of your other friends.
3. Join networking and business development groups or start your own. My favorite business development group for Women Entrepreneurs is The Association of Women Entreprenuers. I am inspired by the motivational and inspirational speakers. I love the mastermind groups. And I cherish the friendships that I have made with like-minded women in pursuit of MORE.
4. Join or start a mastermind group. Be intentional about who you choose to mastermind with. Look for people who compliment you and stretch you. Many coaches and consultants offer the opportunity to mastermind with them for a price. If this is your next teacher, then the price is generally worth it. You can mastermind with me, if you are so inspired.
5. Attend conventions in your field. Conventions are a fabulous opportunity to network with other like-minded professionals who are moving in the same direction that you are and conventions generally offer progressive educational opportunites in your field.
6. Pursue a credential. Most credentialing programs give you education with a peer group, or tribe, built in. One of the tribes that I am proudest to belong to and most stretched and fulfilled by is my CTI Leadership Tribe. My coaching certification, CPCC (Certified Professional Co-Active Coach), also admits me to an amazing, international tribe of coaches and leaders. I continue to be inspired and grown by these associations.
7. Join an association of professionals in your field. As a coach, I belong to The International Coach Federation and The International Coach Federation in Los Angeles. I know I am among “my people” when I attend any ICF event. Know your tribe! If you are a designer, hang out with other designers. If you are a realtor, work with other realtors. These collaborations make us all better at what we do and help us to serve our clients better by bringing up our whole industry.
Whatever you do, do something. You’re success depends on it!
Most people wait until New Year’s to start contemplating the new year and setting resolutions and goals. But, not the people that I hang out with. You people are on fire! It’s barely December and everyone I know is beginning to make some assessment of 2009 and some plans for 2010. I have a process that I run through at the end of each year and I thought I’d share it with you. They are my Ten Questions for Spectacular Direction:
- What did I accomplish this year?
- What were my biggest disappointments?
- What did I learn?
- What 10 things do I do that I love to do?
- What 10 things do I do that I don’t love to do? How can I stop doing some of these things?
- What roles do I play in my life? For help, look at these areas and determine which roles you play: career, money, health & fitness, love life, friends & family, personal & spiritual development, environment, and fun& recreation. I use sassy titles like “Mother of the Year” instead of “Mom” and “God’s Girl” instead of “Confirmation Teacher” and “The Woman of His Dreams” instead of “Wife” and “The Girl Everyone is Talking About” instead of “networker.” We all play so many roles in our lives. Consolidate them a little, make about 8 “Title Roles” and list the sub roles underneath them. For example: “Mother of the Year” might have sub roles: chef, taxi driver, cheerleader, tutor, housekeeper, coach, personal shopper, librarian, gamer and ATM. “The Best Coach in SCV” might have roles like “Coach, CTI Ambassador, ICF Board Member, WE Marketing Coordinator, blogger, networker, Get Clients Now facilitator, etc.”
- What are my goals for each of my top 8 Roles? Set SMART Goals: specific, measurable, achievable, resonant, and thrilling (that might be a little different than the SMART goals you are accustomed to – I’ll write more about that another day).
- What one or two roles are my major focus for next year? What are my top 10 goals for next year?
- What’s really most important to me? What are my top 4 values that will get me the results I want next year? I call these my “Cornerstones” and I “run” my decisions through them.
- What support do I need to achieve my goals? Education, resources, consulting, coaching, a buddy, a support system, etc.
Okay, I know that there are really more than ten questions on that list. But, it’s worth it and you’re worth it. It normally takes me about 3 hours to go through the process. I write down all my answers and produce a lovely little one page summary that I hang on my wall all year, which I also give a sassy name (last year’s was “Sunshine 2009″, this year’s is “Win in 2010″). As a reward, I normally treat myself to a vision board. If I’ve done it right, my goals are a little breath taking and I treat myself to a glass of champagne to celebrate the success that I am starring in the face.
If you want something done, ask a happy, busy person to do it for you!
You all know this girl (in fact, you probably ARE this girl) who seems to get more done than everyone else and always seems happy about it. Sure, she’s busy and optimistic. But, really, doesn’t anything bad ever happen to her? Doesn’t she ever have a bad day? The answer is YES!
The difference is that positive people don’t wallow around in their problems or spend a lot of time worrying about (and complaining about) things that they can’t do anything about. They find what they can do and they do it. When presented with a problem, they look for the solution. What’s that quote?
“A pessimist sees the difficulty in every opportunity; an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.” – Winston Churchill
I had to look it up. I didn’t just know it. Even though, if I didn’t tell you, you’d probably think I did. A productive person goes and finds the answer – now. She knows that “one day” is not a day of the week and she knows that the only time she has is NOW. She doesn’t have any more hours in the day than any one else.
She doesn’t have to sacrifice her family, her relationships or her self care routines in order to be productive. In fact, she is probably better at keeping up with those things, finds time to play games with her kids, connect with her husband, travel and go out with her girlfriends.
She likely manages her time with a structure, whether it be a calendar or a planner or a “tickler file” (that one is for you, Tera McHugh). Talk about it and it is a fantasy, schedule it and it becomes a reality. I tell people all the time, “I just do what my calendar says.” If my calendar says that it’s time to workout, well… I’m going to go work out. If my calendar says it’s time to make follow up calls, then that’s what I do. If I run into a conflict or I don’t feel like it, I move it to a more convenient time. I don’t cancel!
Being positive and productive is a choice. It is simply a set of habits that get repeated over and over again. It doesn’t mean you won’t have problems and that you won’t have bad days. It does mean that you (and everyone around you, for that matter) will feel a whole lot better about it.
No matter your politics or your religion, most people recognize Mother Teresa as a great woman. Her life and her work celebrate the simple joy of loving, the greatness and dignity of all people and the value of doing little things faithfully and with love. She inspires me in so many ways, but most notably by being a leader in the world who affected change with one small action at time. The legacy she leaves us is the knowledge that small things matter and that everyone has something to contribute. Everyone. She said, “Do not wait for leaders. Do it alone, person to person.” What she may not recognize, in her humility, is that this is actually true leadership. And this is the kind of leader that Mother Teresa was. This reminds me to let go of the details and simply do the work that is in front of me now. She also told us, “We can not do great things. We can only do small things with great love.” She reminds us that a smile heals and it is ours to give. Smile at someone today. She reminds us to love our neighbors, really. For many of us, that means getting to know our neighbors. And, with the holidays approaching, I also like to remember that Mother Teresa said, “If you can’t feed a hundred people, then feed just one.” It is a small act of kindness and humanity and it is something tangible that we can all do.
Today, my dogs got out and they bolted! They took off into the hillside to chase some deer and I didn’t see them again for 3 hours. They came back thirsty, tired and smelling of rosemary (which is better than they smelled when they left). They are totally fine. But, I wasn’t. I was beside myself with worry and rearranged my schedule to attempt to find them. And I learned some things.
- Sometimes, you just have to run yourself silly after your dreams even if you can’t catch them. It’s all about the thrill of the chase, the exhilaration and what you experience and learn about on the way.
- Sometimes, you need to jump up and take advantage of an opportunity immediately or it will run off without you and you might not get it back. When my dogs broke out of the house (yes, broke out – one of them can open unlocked doors), I saw them make a break for it. I chased after them for about 5 minutes and then I gave up. I could see where they were on the hillside and I was going to be late for a conference call, so I went and called in. By the time I got back outside with my phone, they had disappeared and disappeared good.
- Sometimes it is better to be late or to reschedule than to let your life get all out of proportion. Instead of being late or canceling my call, I toughed it out for a while – while my dogs ran unsupervised through the hills. If you give up (after 5 minutes), it will make catching up later a lot harder. I searched for them for an hour in the hills after that, to no avail.
- Searching, worrying and running all over the place telling everyone you know that you need help doesn’t always yield results. In this case, I finally ended up coming home and getting on the phone with a client and my dogs just walked back into the house like nothing had happened that a long drink of water and a good long nap couldn’t fix.
- Sometimes a long drink of water and a good, long nap is exactly what is needed.
- The biggest lesson here for me is about being busy and active and taking action. I’m always the girl who takes action and takes care of business. If there is a problem, I’m going to fix it. What I am realizing is that many things don’t need to be fixed or worked on, but left to sort themselves out (like teenagers). Sometimes, it is more important to have faith that things can and will work themselves out without my input and that my most important contribution is to make sure there is a safe, loving environment to land in when the day is done.
- And, finally, gratitude. I am grateful that my dogs are home, that my husband is safely delivered to NYC, that my kids are all tucked in their beds and that my life is good. I am grateful for all my friends and neighbors that were real and sympathetic and supportive and told me the truth rather than what they thought I wanted to hear. I am grateful for these lessons today, because I am sure I will need them one day when the stakes are higher.