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Posts Tagged ‘action’

Last week I delivered a presentations 7 Signs You Are Ready to Stretch and Actions to Take to a group of people in career transition.

The 7 signs we focused on were:

  • You are restless – feeling an “itch” to do something more or different
  • You are seeking – feeling a need for greater purpose in what you are doing
  • You are bored – seeking greater passion in your work or life
  • You are in a rut – feeling a need to change things up
  • You are feeling a pull – feeling ready to act on an idea you have
  • You have an opportunity – one that is out of the norm for you
  • You are questioning – wondering what impact you are having
Some great conversation too place around these 7 signs.  Some thoughts and ideas the audience shared:
  • Never close a door until you look through it first – when a new idea or opportunity shows up that is out of your comfort zone, take the time to review it with open eyes and an open mind
  • Take notice of what actions you do on a daily basis that are within your comfort zone – begin to take daily small steps out of your comfort zone.  This will get you out of your rut, address your restlessness and may even spark new passion
  • Volunteer – especially in an area that is out of your comfort zone – may also boost your passion, give you greater meaning and even spark an idea to pursue

What signs are you noticing that it’s time for you to stretch?

What thoughts do you have to get you out of your comfort zone?

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This months article is called Mentors and Masterminds so I wanted to share my own first mastermind experience.

I met Ann Etheridge at a seminar I delivered back in January 2006.  We felt an immediate connection and had coffee soon afterward.  In conversation, we found that we were both seeking support to grow our businesses.  She mentioned another friend, Meri Raffetto, who was also interested in this and suggested we all meet to see if there was synergy between us.  There was!  We all decided to hold weekly meetings at each others homes.  We came to each meeting prepared with our agenda of what we wanted to talk about, get feedback on, brainstorm around and more.   For us that included new business ideas, marketing ideas, support as we navigated the rollercoaster of being business owners.

We also committed to connecting between meetings by e-mail and phone if we had something pressing to discuss or review.  That experience lasted nearly a year and was an integral part of my early success as a new business owner.  It gave me the camaraderie and collegiality I was missing since I left my position at the university and went out on my own.  Today I continue to have mastermind partnerships with different people and in different ways based on my needs as by business evolves.

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Some of you may have seen my first video on Facebook last week.  It was only 30 seconds but it was my commitment step to a video series I am planning. 

Commitment steps are something I often talk about in my seminars and with my clients.  To me, they represent the one small step you take that catapults you on your path toward the realization of a goal. 

For me, putting that 30 second clip on Facebook announced to the public what I am up to.  It solidified my goal of creating a video series for now that it is “out there” it inspires me to keep going.  It also aligns with one of my values “doing what I say I will do” so not doing it is not an option any longer for me.   This commitment step took me out of the planning/thinking about it stage and into the doing it stage!

What is something you have been waiting for the “right” moment to do?  Something you have been thinking about for a while but not yet catapulted to action? 

What could be your commitment step toward the realization of your goal?

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When I was embarking on my career change, I had several ideas for differerent kinds of services I thought I wanted to provide.  Services that, based on my passions and values, seemed like a great fit.

After researching the basics of each, my critical early step was to test the waters by experiencing them for myself.  In one instance I found someone who had the type of business I was considering and spent a day with her helping hands-on with a client project.    In another instance I found two pro bono clients that offered to let me practice what I was learning. 

In both examples, I learned that these two areas were not a good fit… and most importantly, why they were not a good fit.   On paper, each seemed like a great fit.  Once I immersed myself in the actual day-to-day tasks, however, the misalignment became crystal clear.

If you are embarking on your own career change, I encourage you to let experience be your best teacher as well.  Whether a few hours or a few days, trying out a career you are considering can be an important step in your journey.

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In my latest article “7 clues you are ready to stretch out of your comfort zone” I talk about how our comfort zone is a space or structure we build/create that surrounds us and is filled with all that is familiar.  Our safe place that help us feel grounded and secure in the world.  There are times in each of our lives when we outgrow our current comfort zone.  Here are the clues that let me know when I was at the edge of mine – ready to step through it.

I began questioning the impact I was having in my life and work.

After a tragedy in my family, I started to question my life and where it was going.  What difference was I making?  These questions helped me take a closer look at my work and at myself to see what worked, what didn’t, what was missing and where I was compromising too much of myself – especially how I was holding myself back.  Slowly the questions turned to answers.

I started paying attention to the pull I had been feeling to live in a different environment.

For years I felt the pull to another place, another lifestyle and environment.  Inside I had ideas of what it looked like and felt like.  The pull got stronger as the years went by until it was so strong I decided to take action to stretch.  My husband felt the pull too – and once that happened, the joint force pulled us through our fear.

What are your signs?

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I like to see results, evidence that my actions have produced some outcome.  The outcome could be a tasty meal, an organized home, a fun experience, a beautiful painting, and of course a thriving business.  For many of these activities, results come fairly quickly, but I knew that would not always be the case in my business.  Since patience was never one of my virtues I knew it was something I had to learn if I were to succeed in business (and life).  I knew I needed to trust that results would come and be patient as I created the environment for them.

My first year in business I dilligently and consistently “planted seeds” by focusing on becoming visible in my new community and making connections with great people.  I believed in everything I was doing, that all my marketing and PR activities would eventually begin to show results.  Yet, during those initial months I did sometimes question whether everything I was doing was “right” and thought maybe I was missing something, especially when the results were not showing up as quickly as I wanted them to (did I mention patience was not one of my virtues?)

Even though I questioned and wondered, I stayed true to my plan and kept moving forward.  Sure enough, all my activities started to pay off!  So I kept going with the same consistency and 4 years later my results continue…

What results are you seeking?

What environment have you created for them to come?

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The last couple of months, my husband and I have been talking about building a covering for our deck.  We talked about retractable awnings, a gazebo-like structure and many variations in between.  Do we do it ourselves or hire someone?  Do we find plans or design our own?   We were caught in the – I’m not sure – trap.  You know the one, where every idea is OK, but just not winning either (or both) of you over.   So we waited, and talked about it, and measured, and investigated – yet were still on the fence.

Then, a few days ago we were outside enjoying our deck, sitting in the sun when an idea hit me.  Not just any idea, the right idea.  I said it out loud to my husband and he agreed.   By the next day, we had drawn up plans and a shopping list and scheduled the build (that we will do ourselves, for much less money than we orginally had thought).

I had the moment of clarity when we were in the space enjoying ourselves.  Not thinking about or trying to solve the problem.  You know you have experienced similar moments of clarity yourself.  I would love to hear about them!

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