October 27, 2009

The Generosity Cycle

How do you repay generosity? You can't. Accept it with gratitude and humility, then give the same to others when the opportunity arises.

Recently, I've been on the receiving end of some very generous people. It's made a significant impact on my life. In the past, my ego would say, "You worked hard - you deserve this." Today, I realize I've done nothing to "earn" these acts of kindness and it makes me truly thankful for the people God has put in my life.

A generous man will prosper;
he who refreshes others will himself be refreshed.

~ Proverbs 11:25

As an entrepreneur, I'm learning we can only do so much, then it's up to God and His timing. Since I've made a shift in "trust;" the results have changed. I work hard, but don't put added pressure on myself to make things happen. For example, instead of trying to "sell myself" at networking functions, I wait for the opportunity to talk one-on-one and see what happens. Sure, it might take longer, but it's genuine and who I am.

Receiving generosity has opened my mind and heart. It has motivated me to give to others when I have the chance. Like the verse earlier says, "I can't wait to refresh others!"

October 20, 2009

Last week my wife and I played in her school's golf tournament. One of the worst sounds to hear while playing golf is someone yelling, "FORE!" It means "hit the deck!" During this recession there is a parallel to business - we always have to be ready for the unexpected: 

Focus: Don't dwell on past failures, set your eyes on future solutions. We choose what to fixate on.

ptimize: Winners leverage their strengths. Do what you're great at and delegate the rest.

esilient: Life is going to knock you down, successful people get back up and keep fighting.

ffort: Make sure you are doing everything you can to better your chances of success. Failure is giving up.

I relate this idea to having a sense of urgency. When we get complacent, we are targets for defeat. Stay ready, while being focused on the right things and you'll be there to stand the test of time!

October 13, 2009

Fitness Driving Business

About 5 years ago, I woke up one day and my knee hurt. Instead of analyzing what the cause was, I decided I needed to get in better shape. I remember signing up at the gym and I've never looked back since. Recently, I noticed the parallel between fitness and business:

In fitness, the focus is on improved performance, better health and renewed confidence. It's very similar for business. Setting and accomplish goals turns into momentum which breeds confidence.

It's always hardest to go to the gym after a long layoff, but once you go successive days in a row it becomes part of your routine. Comparably, I've disciplined myself to do this weekly newsletter because it helps improve my writing and shares what I've been learning lately.

At the end of the day, YOU are responsible for motivating yourself. Don't look to someone or something to drive you. Winners don't make excuses. You have to be creative when it comes to staying inspired.

There's a lot to learn from physical fitness that can help us in the business world. Achieving goals, creating good habits and being self-motivated are just three. Start looking at your physical health as a catalyst for your career growth!

October 6, 2009

Control vs. Choice

We spend most of our lives trying to control every aspect of our lives, yet what do we really have control over? Maybe it's not about being in control, but knowing you have choices to make. Let's explore this further:

Time: We can't control what has happened to us in the past, but we can make choices today that impact tomorrow. The past is history and you can't change it, so don't dwell on it. Do something today that will create a better future for yourself.

Focus: Don't blame others for what's going wrong, concentrate on what you can change (about you). You can't control others, but you can better yourself. Directing our energy on others, takes time away from self-improvement.

We can't control what happens to us, but we can choose how to respond. Bad things happen to everyone, yet it's your reaction that reveals your true character. Today, choose to respond in a way that is consistent with your "brand."

It seems illogical to give up control, but we don't have much of it in the first place! Start making personal choices today that will help you to continually grow forward!