Let Your Light Shine to Reach Your Potential

It has always mystified me how some people never get done what they had planed on doing in life.  They get caught up in what is known as paralysis by analysis and never get really started living.  The old Chinese Proverb that says “A journey of 1000 miles begins as a single step”, is so true in reaching our potentials.

I read a story the other night that really makes my point.

A few nights ago a peculiar thing happened.  An electrical storm caused a blackout in our neighborhood.  When the lights went out, I felt my way through the darkness into the storage closet where we keep the candles for nights like this.  Through the glow of a lit match I looked up on the shelf where the candles were stored.  There they were, already positioned in their stands, melted to various degrees by previous missions.  I took my match and lit one of them.

How it illuminated the storage room!  What had been a veil of blackness suddenly radiated with soft, joyous golden light!  I could see the freezer I had just bumped with my knee.  And I could see my tools that needed to be straightened.

“How joyful it is to have light!”  I said out loud, and then spoke to the candle.  “If you do such a good job here in the storage closet, just wait till I get you out where you’re really needed!  I’ll put you on the table so we can eat.  Or I’ll put you on my desk so I can read”.  I took down the lit candle, “I think I’ll put you in the living room where you can light up the whole area.”  (I felt a bit foolish talking to a candle—but what do you do when the lights go out?)

I was turning to leave with the large candle in my hand when I heard a voice, “Now, hold it right there.”

I stopped.  Somebody’s in here!  I thought.  Then I relaxed.  It’s just my wife teasing me for talking to a candle.  “OK, honey, cut the kidding,”  I said in the simidarkness.  No answer.  Hmm, maybe it was the wind.  I took another step.

“Hold it, I said!”  There was that voice again.  My hands began to sweat.  “Who said that?”  “I did.”  The voice was near my hand.  “Who are you?  What are you?”

“I’m a candle.”  I looked at the candle I was holding.  It was burning a strong, golden flame.  It was red and sat on a heavy wooden candle holder that had a firm handle.

I looked around once more to see if the voice could be coming from another source.  “There’s no one here but you and me,” the voice informed me.

I lifted up the candle to take a closer look.  You won’t believe what I saw.  There was a tiny face in the wax.  (I told you you wouldn’t believe me.)  Not just a wax face that someone had carved, but a moving, functioning, fleshlike face full of expression and life.

“Don’t take me out of here!”  “What?”  “I said, Don’t take me out of this room.”

“What do you mean?  I have to take you out.  You’re a candle.  You job is to give light and joy to others.  It’s dark and scary out there.  People are stubbing their toes and walking into walls.  You have to come out and light up the place!”

“But you can’t take me out.  I’m not ready.” The candle explained with pleading eyes.  “I need more preparation.”  I couldn’t believe my ears.  “More preparation?”

“Yeah, I’ve decided I need to research this job of light-giving so I won’t go out and make a bunch of mistakes.  You’d be surprised how distorted the glow of an untrained candle can be.  So I’m doing some studying.  I just finished a book on wind resistance,  I’m in the middle of a great series of tapes on wick build-up and conservation—and I’m reading the new bestseller on flame display.  Have you heard of it?”

“No,” I answered.

“You might like it.  It’s called Waxing Eloquently.”

“That really sounds inter—” I caught myself.  What am I doing?  I’m in here conversing with a candle while my wife is out there in the darkness!

“All right then, I said.  “You’re not the only candle on the shelf” as I blew the candle out!

As Max De Pree said, “We cannot become what we need to be by remaining what we are.”

<strong>So step out and begin letting your light shine.</strong>

Campus Tour

….and over here we have the cafeteria.  Pretty big.  You get in any of these lines here and pay over there at the registers.  They’ve got salads, pasta, soup, bread, burgers, pizza.  That line over there does entrees.  Some ethnic stuff over there.  Just pick out what you want and pay, then pull up a seat at one of the tables, or outside if it’s not Juneuary.

And down the hall here we’ve got dry cleaning.  Pretty convenient.  Just drop it off when you come in, and it’s ready in a couple days, swing by, take it back home, you know.  It’s pretty nice.

Then here we have the badger room.  It’s where we keep the badgers.  Might want to stay away from there.

And right down here’s the fitness center.  Precors, treadmills, weights, just about everything.  Need to swipe in with your badge.  Open 24/7.  If you hear anything knocking around the south side it’s probably just the badgers.

You know, I wonder why we even have a badger room.  It’s not like they contribute to the core product line.  Not at all.  I can’t think of one impact they might have.  And it’s air conditioned in there…that’s messed up.  There’s like, 400 badgers in there.  Probably why they’re so noisy.  I wonder what they eat.  Probably new hires, hahahaha.  ”New meat, got some new meat here!”  Yeah, stay away from that room.  I’m gonna have to ask about that.

CEO Roundtable

Date: July 20th, 2012

Location: Kirkland Public Library 3308 Kirkland Ave, Kirkland WA

Time: 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM (Meets Monthly)

Registration: www.ideal-companies.com

This is a roundtable discussion of business issues faced by business owners, CEO’s and motivated entrepreneurs, including solo entrepreneurs and small business professionals. Each attendee will have the opportunity to highlight an issue they face in growing their business. Other attendees will offer their input based on their own knowledge and experience. This event is a very dynamic form of the mastermind. Please come and participate in this learn and share event.

Be an author in Google

Last week, at the Tuesday’s with Deborah meeting, I brought up the new ability to be listed in Google as an author. Several people asked me how to do that. If you go to the following link on Google information about how to create authorship is available for your use:

https://plus.google.com/authorship

The nice thing about this is it when somebody Googles you or an article you wrote your picture will come up it will save by your name and it’ll have an additional link that says more by your name. It keys off your Google plus profile.

Hopefully this is helpful.

TEAM of One

TEAM of OneI was having lunch with a colleague of mine the other day and he asked me how my latest project was going.  After lamenting about how much I have left to accomplish.  I felt compelled to add something that made me feel really strong.  I said, “Never underestimate the power of a great team behind, beside and in front of you.”

As “Father’s Day” has come and gone and I am knee deep into the process of publishing a book based on some of my father’s infinite wisdom he imparted on me when I was young.  I can’t help but think about the day he retired for the last time (and yes, he has retired twice).  I was asked to speak and before I uttered a single word I looked out over the audience and saw the faces of the people my father had touched and those who were with him along the way during this part of his journey.  I’m not sure what possessed me to say this, but as I  thought about him and where I was in life, I said.  “Each of us walks a path that at times that was paved by those who come before us.”

So as I am knee deep into publishing this book I wanted to say “thank you” to everyone who has helped make this dream possible.  Continue reading “TEAM of One” »

Facebook backlash isn’t just about Facebook (but I bet it wishes it was)

This month I’ve read a few articles bashing the facebook IPO.  The most resounding one was: Facebook Ads Aren’t Grabbing Users.

Have you ever clicked on a facebook ad?  Out of interest in a product?

Social media people will (hopefully) tell you that social media is a tough nut to crack.  The best tools are passion and authenticity, which breed consistency.

Facebook ads don’t get clicked on because very few ads of any kind in any medium get “clicked on” anymore.  People are either interested in a product or they aren’t.  TV, Radio, Print, Web.  There’s noise everywhere, and you’re either passionate, authentic, and consistent (and funny helps a lot), or you’re noise.

Part of the facebook backlash was GM pulling their facebook advertising budget the week before the IPO.  This is a big lumbering slow-moving corporation that actually analyzed its facebook ad performance and decided it wasn’t going to make any babies there and pulled right the heck out.

Money doesn’t buy happiness?  Maybe.  But you definitely can’t monetize friendship.  When you do, the friendship goes away.

What does all of this mean for everyone who wishes to advertise on facebook?  Or any other social media FTM (for that matter)?

Bring PASSION, be AUTHENTIC, be CONSISTENT.  And if you’d like to interest me at all, be funny and be quick about it.  And don’t use big words like Deliverables and Strategic Objectives.  Talk normal, folks.  If your service delivers results nobody cares where you came from (if they do care, let them ask).  What I’m noticing more and more, is that the more time and physical space you need to explain to someone why you functionally exist, the less important you are.

….sorry, got off on a rant.  gee, how important am at, clocking in a 327 characters so far.

Consistency is the straw that breaks the camels back.  You can fake passion and authenticity for only so long…then you just get tired of it if your heart isn’t in the game.

Consistency is two fold:  1) Update regularly, and 2) measure your results to give people more of what they want.  If you make money from cats dancing to Katy Perry, post something new about that once a week.  If you make money from your adorable dog, post something new about that every day.  If you make money by writing a regular 3000 essay on being a single dad, do that.

If you do a posting, or a video, or an instagram, or a tweet, only once every so often, you’re not going to benefit a whole lot from social media marketing, because you won’t actually be doing social media marketing.

Facebook ads:  they don’t work because they aren’t authentic.  People who are on facebook are there to interact with their friends.  It’s just like watching TV….you DVR everything because you’re there to experience your shows, not watch commercials.

When your own “commercials” become the reason that people are there, the thing that people are interacting with – - THAT is when you will be effectively using social marketing.

Signed and untagged,
Scott

 

 

10 Reason I Love Toastmasters

I have been a Toastmaster for just over two years. I really enjoyed my time there. I have grown a lot as a person during my time as a Toastmaster.

Toastmasters International
Toastmasters International (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
  1. Every meeting is different: Even though the meetings are structured, no two meetings are the same. I am highly entertained once a week. I look forward to going to meetings even when I do not have a role. I have no idea what I am going to learn or how I am going to be entertained.
  2. Everyone is so supportive: Everyone at a Toastmaster meeting is there for one reason. To improve their speaking. They know how scary it is to get in front of a group of strangers and speak your mind. They will support you with your development.
  3. Plenty of laughs: Probably the most surprising thing about Toastmasters is how much I laugh when I am there. There are plenty of funny speeches and funny moments.
  4. Noticing my improvement: I love noticing how much I have improved during my speeches. I have recorded myself practicing my speeches and putting them on Youtube. I haven’t in a while, but I will soon. I was asked to speak somewhere. I decided to do the Power of Words speech. I looked at the video I put up on Youtube. I was embarrassed by on all of the little things I did during my speech. I am a lot better now and I still have plenty of room for improvement.
  5. Watching other people improve: When I first joined Toastmasters there were a group of people who didn’t speak often. In fact, they were a member of multiple groups and used the other group to do their speeches. After I was a member for a year, I understood why. It is so much fun to watch people go from being terrified of speaking to being good to great speakers. The transformation is amazing. So much joy in watching other people improve.
  6. Helping other people improve: Either from giving good feedback or being a good role model, having the knowledge that have something to do with people’s improvement amazes me. I am humbled by the experience. I remember one time as Toastmaster one of the members had a problem with a Table Topic. A Table Topic is an impromtu speech, where a question is asked and the person answer the question. I had the inspiration to ask the person up a second time and asking him a very easy question that he knew. Just going up there in front of people and being able to speak with confidence helped him. He said so himself. That felt good.
  7. Learning how to give feedback: Learning how to give feedback in a way that helps a person is a very good skill to have. Every speech in Toastmasters is followed by an evaluation by a member. Some people find this much more scary than giving an actual speech.
  8. Chance to see amazing speeches: Some speeches I have seen have made me cry, laugh out loud, be amazed by the person or inspired to great action. People are talented and being able to watch the talented people do their thing is awesome.
  9. Gaining confidence in other areas of my life: Giving interviews, getting interviewed on podcasts, talking to potential clients, talking to people in general. I am much more confident in all aspects of my life due to Toastmasters. I also sound more confident because I don’t use as many, “uhs, likes, so’s, and’s” and other verbal crutches.
  10. Ability to take up a leadership position: In Toastmasters you have a chance to work on your leadership skills. I have been a VP of Membership, Secretary and President. Soon I will have the hardest job, which is VP of Education. I look forward to stretching myself and growing as a leader.

Toastmasters has made and is making a huge impact on me. I am a much better and more dynamic speaker because of Toastmasters. Where else can I grow, have fun for less than $100 a year? If you are looking to improve yourself, I highly recommend Toastmasters.

Your Spiritual Life Coach,

Brett Dupree

www.JoyousExpansion.com

Authoring the Future Economy

An Seattle Times article described a community event that they described as being about resumes and job hunting. Instantly, I thought of the wise words of Phill Briscoe, Gerald Grinter, and John C Erdman.

What if there were an evening at Town Hall in Seattle with these three writers (who are also architects and designers of the economy of the future)?

What if such an evening also included Deborah Drake’s collaborative book “Burn Your Resume?”

What if it were not an evening, but a half-day conference at a place like the Albers School of Business at Seattle University?  That may seem like a fantasy right now, but all the writers linked here should hear from me that the content they share at TwD and in writing is, in my opinion, what university students and the public could be offered at a half-day conference at a place that is a laboratory and greenhouse for the new economy.

Seeing Chris Guillebeau in Seattle for his new $100 Startup Book

Yesterday morning I sat down with a cup of strong Irish tea to catch up on a ton of email. I didn’t get very far before I discovered Chris Guillebeau was scheduled to speak that night at Town Hall Seattle. I’ve never met the guy, and his writings expressing his unique way of thinking about our world provoke and inspire me. I love his blog The Art of Non-Conformity: Unconventional Strategies for Life, Work and Travel. He has a book out with the same title that also stirs the pot, your pot, with relish. It stirred my pot for sure.

Fueled up with a late afternoon cup of coffee, I hustled downtown and promptly got lost. I make the same stupid mistake every time by parking in the wrong underworld garage then meandering around in the labyrinthine maze atop the Convention Center lid over the freeways. I caught myself ranting on the phone to my wife as I tried to get her to come meet me, but she was too far away to arrive anywhere close in time.

She listened with more patience than me as I caught myself getting angry. Feeling silly, I burst out laughing at what a fool I was. I cooled off quick and chilled out. There were more important things to do than get wiggy over buses and cars, and, boom, Town Hall. Wow, I’ve never happened upon it so quickly. I could hear the Universe poking me and saying, “So, there!” Continue reading “Seeing Chris Guillebeau in Seattle for his new $100 Startup Book” »

Commit to the Cubicle

Cubical LifeThis past weekend, I saw a friend whose son was graduating from college.   As we laughed about the empty nest he was about to experience our conversation circled back to our work and now the newly found job of his son.  I asked him how his son was handling the transition from college life to the nine-to-five world of work.  He said his son hated it.  He then laughed and commented on how his son is now a younger version of himself.  How he dressed and had to get up every day and go to work.  He then said something I’ll probably never forget.  He said, “Yeah, he’s just not ready to “commit to the cubicle”.  What!?!  His son is a gifted athlete and snowboarder.  I mean practically an Olympic level instructor type.  He spent every second of his free time on Mt. Baker between classes while at Western Washington University studying for his degree and has also appeared in a few snowboard promotional video commercials.  So you can imagine my heart sinking when I heard his father say this.   Especially with me on the heels of finishing my soon to be published book “The Art of Working for Yourself”.

All I could imagine was a scene from National Geographic in my head as they chased down this young lion that was about to be tagged and released for observation.  First, the lion struggles after it’s been hit by the tranquilizer dart.  Then they pet him to keep him calm, so he won’t wake up and eat them alive as they slip the transmitter collar around his little neck. Before the lion realizes what hit him, he wakes up and realizes that he’s got this thing now wrapped around his neck.   I know this is a bit dramatic, but I had to ask myself the question… “Did this happen to me?  Did I get tagged and “commit to the cubicle?”  When did I give in and what type of tranquilizer dart did they use on me?

Knowing what I know now, I think back to when I was younger and wiser and believed I could do anything.  I couldn’t quite remember how I fell for the Jedi mind trick and committed to the cubicle.  I’m sure it happened slowly at the guidance of our beloved media, teachers, friends and family; somehow I was trained away from my true essence.  As for my friend’s son, my lament for him is that most of us who “commit to the cubical” never leave it and we will begin to look at the cubicle as the best thing we will ever accomplish. Our wants and desires will take a back seat to day to day existence.  Sure there will be promotions and awards that reinforce our role as the cog in the wheel.  But, I wonder whose greater good this is serving?  Does committing to the cubicle mean we are not working for ourselves?

I believe the way we live and work is about to undergo a radical shift and it will be those who can’t and won’t commit to the cubicle who will show us the way.  They will live and work in a way that is more fulfilling to who they are and how they live (even when they work for someone else).  I’ll leave you to answer this for yourself.  Can you “commit to the cubicle” and still embrace the “Art of Working for Yourself”?  If so, how do you do it?  If not, then why not?

Read Gerald’s blog @ The Twelfth Power