From our team to yours, we just want to wish you a happy holiday season! May 2017 be a wonderful year for you!
It seems like at every conference I attend, every webinar/teleseminar I listen to, everywhere I turn, there are recommendations for books I absolutely MUST read. With so many recommendations, how will I ever get to all of them? After all, I’ve been reading the same book for the last six months – and it is a good book! I just never seem to be in the mood anymore. I used to love reading books. First it was actual books and then I used the Kindle.
But after looking at a computer all day, the last thing I really want to do is read!
Then last month, I tried an audio book. I love it! I’ve listened to two books in two weeks. Woohoo! I had been putting off audio books for a while. I mean, I’ve listened to teleseminars and I didn’t think I would like listening to books being read to me. I’d have to carry pen and paper with me so I could take notes, so it’s not like I could listen while I’m walking. And then what if the reader talks really slow? My mind would be wandering! And I thought I could read faster than I could listen.
Boy, was I wrong… [Read more…] about Audio books ROCK!
Malala Yousafzai has been in the news recently as the youngest person nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. She was just an 11-year girl in Pakistan when she began her crusade for girls’ education. At 15 she was shot in the head by the Taliban, but she survived and is thriving. She’s written a book and speaks out about education for girls. She put her life in danger by expressing her feelings. So why did she do it? Because she wants girls to get an equal education to boys. Simple.
So have you thought about your ‘why’ recently — or ever? Why did you start your business? Why are you still in business today? What was the problem you’re trying to solve? Your why can change … mine certainly has over the years. Of course, we all want to make money in our businesses, but that’s not our why — we could make money doing other things.
When I started my business in 1996, my son was eight, my daughter was three. My son had an illness called Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome. When I interviewed for the Executive Assistant job two years prior, I was upfront about my son’s illness and the fact that he would be violently sick for five days at a time about every two or three months which would cause me to miss work. They were fine with that, we’d work around it…until two years later when I got “lectured” about my absences. I wasn’t getting paid sick days, but my time away was now a problem.
I had a choice to make — stay where I was and keep “getting in trouble” or leave… Shortly after that meeting, I gave my notice and started my entrepreneurial journey. In 1996, my why was my kids. [Read more…] about What’s your why?
There are a lot times in life when we all can use even just a little, itty bit of encouragement. A little bit sure can go a long way.
Would my husband really want to continue dredging through 72-hours of online class work if no one acknowledged his hard work? Would a volunteer put himself out there again if no one recognized his dedication to a cause? Hardly.
If we as bystanders don’t do or say anything, how can we expect others to be excited about and continue what they are doing? We can’t. Encouragement is fuel and we all need it to persevere.
It truly doesn’t take much to encourage others. It’s not something you have to plan out or orchestrate. It should come from the heart in the joy of the moment and be spontaneous or at least happen before too much time has lapsed. It’s positive reinforcement right then and there.
- Begin with interest. A genuine, deep interest in what the person or group is doing is best because your enthusiasm should spill forth without much thought. On the other hand, you don’t have to care so much about the project as long as you care about the person and the same outcome should result. Think about a child taking violin lessons; even if it’s difficult to listen to the screeching strings in the beginning, your child is enjoying this fresh endeavor, learning a new skill, being involved in a group or team, and gaining a significant life lesson in the end. You’ll do them a disservice if you don’t cheer them on.
- Express your approval. How many times has a thought popped into your head that you didn’t say out loud? How many times would that same thought have been perceived as a form of encouragement by the recipient? Saying something as simple as “The sautéed spinach tastes really good” or “I can’t pinpoint what it is, but you look vibrant and happy today” can lift someone’s spirits and turn their whole day around. No matter what positive thought pops into your mind — articulate it. Set it free to do its work!
- Be appreciative. My goodness, a simple heart-felt “Thank you” once in a while can go a long way especially for those redundant or bothersome tasks no one wants to do. “Thank you for sweeping the floors” or “Thank you for taking that phone call for me” shows them that what they’ve done has not gone unnoticed. Sometimes we assume they know we appreciate their efforts, but in reality they might feel as if they are being taken for granted. Don’t let this happen. I’d be lost if hubby didn’t help around the house with laundry, chickens, meals, trash — the list goes on — so I try to thank him when he’s listening (not during football).
- Special recognition. Sometimes something unexpected is warranted. Recently the rescue where I volunteer was selected to participate in a potentially profitable popularity contest. One of our volunteers took it upon himself to reach out to every one, every where he could think of in order to garner votes. Then every day, twice a day, for several weeks, he manually calculated our standings and emailed a reminder status/update. His words and actions were encouraging us to keep voting … and ultimately we won. So the board of directors, rightly so, sent him a public letter of acknowledgment for his extra dedication to the cause.
- Be their rock. Sometimes we just need to know we have someone to turn to when we’re floundering with a project or goal. We need someone in our corner we know will instill some confidence and remind us of why we’re doing this in the first place. Think of your friend trying to lose weight who knows she’s on the edge of falling off her weight loss program in the middle of the afternoon when the munchies strike and reaches out to you to steady her. She knows that you’ll always say something to keep her on track, so you can be instrumental in keeping her confident and secure.
Every single day people in our lives are doing things they might not enjoy or find difficult or feel are unrewarding. It’s our job… it’s everyone’s job… to offer encouragement to those around us.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? Please do but be sure to include this complete blurb with it: © 10/17/2012 Kimberly J. McCloskey, author and copy editor, will be your sounding board, proofreader and partner to make you look intelligent, sound professional, and be authentic! Learn about her at www.TheWritingPartner.com.
The trees were in peak foliage season. Reds, yellow, greens and browns against a clear blue sky. The air was fresh and clean with a bit of a chill. I strolled and started thinking about seasons. Seasons of the year, our lives, our businesses.
Each season is beautiful and each season has things that we complain about. We need all of the pieces to complete the cycle.
One thing I find fascinating about the seasons is that as we get towards the end of one, we get tired of it and are ready to move on. For instance, I love the first snow but after a while I get tired of being cold and start searching for the first flower.
The tools you need for each season vary too. Warm clothes and snow boots in the winter, shovels and spades to loosen the soil in the spring, sprinklers in the summer and rakes in the autumn.
It’s the same in a business.
As time passes in your business the tools you need vary. The projects you work on change and the level of support you need shifts. There are times when things are going great, growing seems effortless and you don’t want to change a thing. There are other times when it seems that no matter what you do nothing moves and you can’t wait for it to end.
Looking at the picture of Holly standing (pretty much by herself) and reviewing the video over and over again, has reminded me that there’s a life lesson in here that’s bigger than what you might see on the surface.
Help from others is a good thing. Generally you can’t do everything alone, no matter how much you want to. Get help from others to assist you in their areas of expertise or something they are enthusiastic about. For me, I’m eager to help Holly walk so I do various therapies with her at home. The neurologist is excited to see her walk with the use of his therapies, and fans are willing to pay for this visit. Holly might not be standing if it weren’t for everyone pitching in.
If unconventional practices seem to be working, stick with them. There are a lot of people out there who look at me funny when I try to describe the type of therapy the neurologist – a surgeon – uses on Holly. There’s a whole other large group of people who are rooting on the whole process. I agree that some things the neuro prescribes or performs don’t necessarily make sense for the scientist in me, but proof is in the pudding and Holly stood – basically on her own – following her last treatment.
Your gut will guide you to do the right thing. This goes for me, Holly and everyone who cheers us on, sends us donations, gives us gifts, or just friends us on Facebook. We know in our heart we’re doing the right thing by Holly, even if it seems strange or almost useless, why would Holly deserve any less? Additionally, if you think about it, Holly lost use of her back legs when she was a mere three months old – that’s young! She’s a year old this month and we don’t know that Holly remembers anymore that she used to walk. However, in watching Holly on a daily basis and seeing her stand with Dr. C, it seems to me that Holly knows in her gut that she’s supposed to stand and supposed to walk and by golly, she tries.
Surround yourself with friends who encourage you. Without a doubt, it’s extremely difficult to do anything when the people in your life don’t support you in your efforts to reach your dreams. Holly has a whole host of friends on her Facebook page who cheer on her every photo and video, offer words of encouragement, provide solid and sound advice, and share in the setbacks when they happen. They certainly make my endeavor with Holly easier to bear.
Accept the gifts of others. If someone wants to give you something to help you along, take it. At times it’s difficult to ask for things we know might help us in our quest. On the other hand, there’s probably someone within our circle who knows exactly what those things are without our asking. If one of them gives you a gift, no matter how significant or overwhelming it seems, swallow your pride and take it. They want to help you, so let them. Benefit from it, be grateful for it and show your appreciation, of course. The most recent gift Holly received was a cart built for animals with paralysis. It was an expensive gift, but one that will allow Holly to be safely mobile, in a standing position, and have the opportunity to use her legs if she wants to.
Persistence pays off. In this instance, it’s not necessarily Holly’s persistence but I will say she doesn’t give up easily when she wants to get somewhere. She just doesn’t know that the people around her who continue to push her (help her) to walk are actually having their efforts pay off… finally!
You can reach your goals in life by remembering each of these important lessons. If you do the right thing, stick to your guns, and seek and allow help from others, anything can be achieved. Anything.
WANT TO USE THIS ARTICLE IN YOUR E-ZINE OR WEBSITE? You sure can! Include this complete blurb with it: © 9/13/2012 Kimberly J. McCloskey, Professional Virtual Assistant, in her attempt to help all people improve their personal and professional productivity, shares her insight through her newsletter “Productive Pointers”. Her natural artistic abilities, organizational skills and a love for detail shine through her creative writing for blogs, newsletters, articles, information products and more for her clients. Learn more at www.VA-Partner.com.