Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Seeing the Stumbling Blocks

If you could be happier, healthier, or pick whatever "er" you like, why wouldn't you do it? I've thought about this mystery quite a bit over the past few years. Faced with either insanity (doing the same thing over and over while expecting different results) and positive change, some people choose insanity. Why? I've got a few ideas, but I'd love to hear yours.

#1. S--t is warm. Though we might be up to our ears in it, we know what we are dealing with. We don't like the situation, but we don't know what would happen if we change it. So, perhaps fear of the unknown is greater than fear of the known (even if we don't like where we are).

#2. We are clueless. Interesting studies show that we tend to influence and be influenced by our friends. After a while this can create a group-think. So, if all of my friends willingly put up with mistreatment, ill health, bad habits, it is pretty natural that I will. Because this is the group I hang with, I might not have any idea that life can be different. I have no desire to change my behavior because I don't know there is another way to live.

#3. One is the loneliest number. Because we tend to surround ourselves with those who think and act similar to us we worry that if we change they will reject us. Actually that is pretty sound reasoning. Think about it. You change your behavior and you, by implication, suggest that others in your group do also. Traitor! Better we all go down together than risk the change. This is one of the main reasons that AA suggests to it's members to change their friends.

#4. No one else to blame. This I believe is the most powerful reason people choose not to embrace positive change. If I take control and change my life, I am fully responsible. There is no one else to blame if something doesn't work out. It is easier to just stay where I am and blame my situation or other people.

These are just a few ideas about why people might not embrace positive change, but they concern me. Helping people achieve their personal greatness is a passion and a quest. These are just some of the stumbling blocks. Perhaps if we can identify them, we can help get them out of the way. What other stumbling blocks have I missed?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Product is You

I called a CEO of a large non-profit to check in and see how he was handling these tough times. Always interested in empowering his staff and creating a great work environment I wanted to see what he asking of his staff considering these tough times. He told me that he is asking them all to be entrepreneurs. "I want them to have the mindset that this is their business and to be looking for new and different ways to make money for the organization." He went on to share with me an example of an employee stepping up with a great new idea for generating revenue.

But he got me thinking about greatness and how we approach our lives. Okay, I'll ask you the question I was pondering myself: are you the owner, entrepreneur of your own life, or does someone else own it and you are working for them? Don't answer too quickly. There are those who are not living for themselves, making their own decisions, or changing anything. They are just getting by. If you want to be the owner of your own life there are a few things to consider.

Initially we have to develop a product. What we have to offer to the world is ourselves; we are our product. So, how unique is your product? Are you continually updating and refining your product? Is it the best product it can be, or have you settled for an average product?

The second step is marketing. Since you are your product, what do people see when they look at you? Are you presented in the best way possible? Is there something else that could maximize your marketability? What is your ad campaign, in other words, how do people learn about what you do?

The final step is fulfillment. When someone deals with your product (you) what do they experience? Is it always high quality, timely, excellent? Or is the product just mediocre?

So, if you make the choice to be a life entrepreneur, it's time to take a hard look. The product is you. How are sales going?