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.
I don’t usually rant and rave about too much, but this issue has come up a couple of times, and I thought now would be a good time to see what others think.
When you manually sign people up to receive your ezine, do you ask permission? I always ask permission and about 2% of the time I receive a “No, thanks. I already get so much information in my inbox.” No problem. I can certainly understand that. But these same people — twice now — have turned around and added me to their ezine list without asking my permission!
These people were prospects, and we had some e-mail communication, but does that mean they can just arbitrarily add me to their list? My opinion is no, they should not be doing this.
Now, granted, if they asked I would probably have said yes. I mean, I can always unsubscribe if the information is not what I’m looking for. But it irks me that I gave them the respect of asking and yet, they did not show me the same respect and added me without asking.
So how do you handle signing people up for your ezine? And what are your thoughts when people add you?