Like A Cow Looking At A New Gate.

cow and field of fresh grass

That is one of my favorite phrases. It fits into so many of life’s situations. And again, it perfectly describes the last few weeks.

Not only does it have a bit of a cowgirl spin on it, but it conjures up many images doesn’t it?  Not stuck, not really stalled. Just stopped. And not that the motion of life didn’t occur. It did. But for this wrangler, a couple of key projects just simply stopped dead in their tracks.

Has that ever happened to you?

First was an online class I am taking – I even extended it because it was coming together so well. And then a project I was doing for a client went sideways on THE FIRST DAY. A list of reasons, shared responsibilities missed. None the less – a missed deadline, then a scramble to make it as right as possible is still a missed deadline.

Perhaps in response to that or independent of it, my workouts at the gym went the same kind of sideways. Not hitting my marks, seemingly not improving. Instead of fun, it was just work. What was happening?

One week later, there began to be a shift. The project came together and I completed my part in record time. The missed deadline is still a point to deal with, but the opportunity to re-gain trust is progressing. At least the door is open. The numbers at the gym went from flat to recordable improvement. I accomplished things I thought outside of my capabilities. What a turnaround.

The principle of  ‘don’t quit now because you don’t know how close you are to your goal’ applies here. If I didn’t stick with it, both situations would not have had the chance to turn from their potential ‘disaster’ status to something better.

Napoleon Hill said it well, “Most great people have attained their greatest success just one step BEYOND their greatest failure.”

Staring at the gate only gets you so far. Contemplating making a change, debating business expansion. Good place to start. But take it one step further. Like the joke about the three frogs thinking of jumping off the log. How many are left? Three. They only thought about jumping.

Embarking on that new, untested path is risky. It is in the applied action where the good stuff happens.

Go ahead. Open the gate and walk through. Maybe the herd will follow you.

 

 

 

Why I Started Blogging

Why I blogStart; as an intransitive verb: a :  to begin a course or journey <started toward the door> <just starting out>.

Everything needs a beginning – and it is the best way to see the whole story, because it will reveal itself in the telling.

I have resisted the art of blogging for all the same reasons as I have heard others express, what will I say and will anybody care when I say it? Yet – the pull to dive in has been impossible to ignore. I just needed a friendly push from a trusted source.

I deep down believe that by writing often, it will help improve my branding skills by actively engaging in the process of telling a story or describing a process. It helps define what visually needs to happen next in that story, therefore defining what to build a brand around. And as with story telling – creativity around brands offers a lot of possibilities. I like possibilities. I also like challenges.

I have been writing for the CrossFit Games as a volunteer for the last 2 years, doing athlete profiles and coverage at the North West Regional in 2012 and 2013. My media background is in broadcast design, so this would require brushing off my copy of “Elements of Style“, remembering everything from my journalism classes in college and  locating my Thesaurus. The process has been a huge stretch and allowed me to grow, to find my voice because:

  1. It scared the heck out of me to be that transparent and have my work displayed on a global stage.
  2. It held high risk for screwing it up. (see #1)
  3. It humbled me when the head editor returned my story for a re-write. And sometimes a re-write of my re-write. (see #2)
  4. It allowed me great conversations with athletes who are striving to be better than yesterday as they pursue their goals to reach the CrossFit Games in Carson California each year. In pursuit of the goal they got better daily .

The last one helped to fuel the confidence, combined with that friendly push, to begin this journey. What is the pursuit of a goal? It is about being better than yesterday. Only by starting and stepping away from the comfortable can that happen. As they do in CrossFit, it was 3,2,1….go!

I am still finding my voice as a writer. I am committed to discovering more in the process.  Starting gives fuel to the possibilities turning into abilities. Challenge accepted.

 

 

 

5 ways to avoid writing your next blog post.

postphobiaCreating and maintaining a blog for your brand is becoming an important element to extend your voice in the marketplace.

Why? First – because it is your voice and helps to set you apart, especially if yours is a crowded market.

Next, it gives clients a reason to affirm why they do business with you...or want to.

Last, it provides an outlet for expanding the conversation around your passions,  your community or tribe, and what inspires you.

Sounds wonderful, right?

What happens when that flow of creativity  is not-so-wonderfully flowing? Call it writer’s block. Call it procrastination. The failure to post in a timely fashion. Better yet – let’s call it postphobia.

That blank page. The empty container file. The over-thinking every possible option, met with nope, nada, un-uh. The hope for enlightened brilliance faced with empty pages and silent keyboards. Sigh.

Then it happens. Like water that rushes in to fill an empty vessel, you are drawn in. The dictionary calls them distractions [dɪˈstrækʃən] n. I call them my 5 ways to avoid writing your next blog post:

1. The Digital Distractions. Everybody is guilty of this – just popping over to Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn ‘for a minute’ – so see who has contacted you since you have (3) new messages. Our society has enough things competing for our time and attentions. Best practice and Action Item: – when there is a task at hand, just shut them off until you are done. You can do that. If you really want to geek out about this, in 2009, a Stanford University study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, “Cognitive Control in Media Multitaskers.

2. The Well-Intentioned Diversions. These find you whether you are in a urban setting downtown or a cozy home office. It is some natural law that when you are on a deadline or need to focus, a cordial, well-meaning head pops in with a ‘got a minute?’ Not wanting to be rude and put a DO NOT DISTURB sign on the door (if you have a door), we take a moment to chat. Suddenly, 15 minutes have passed and you have lost your train of thought. For home office dwellers, it can be either a 2-legged or 4-legged visitor, accompanied with a purr, a bark or a tap-tap-tap…mom. Action Item: Deal with what you have to if an emergency. Set a time for coffee with your colleague. Incentive the wee ones to make it a win-win with a promise of time and attention. For the 4-legged visitors. have a good supply of chew toys or catnip and buy yourself 10 minutes and write like crazy!

3. The Re-visioned Domicile. If you do workout of a home-based office – sometimes your office may be known by another name, the kitchen table, the garage, the guest room. Others who share your living space may not have the same respect for it when you are in working mode because they see the space by it’s other identity. Dropping in the run a load of laundry, grabbing something out of a cupboard – and horrors – asking you to help them. Hey, I’m workin’ here! Worse than that is when you chose to divert your attention and run that load yourself. Action Item: Girlfriend, get back to work!

4. The Diminished Space. The clutter that may inhabit your work area IS a huge distraction – but with a deadline looming – NOW IS NOT the time to deal with it. Action Item: Set an appointment to address it, clean it up or file it. Then write a post about procrastination. See – how productive of you!

5. The Delayed Input Habit. Likely there is a pile of books located somewhere in your office or near your bed stand. The ones you are going to get to someday.  Well, today is not the day. See Action Item #4.

Use each excuse to drive you toward finishing your task or assignment. Celebrate when done. Be surprised what can happen when you think nothing can happen. Just begin.

 

Go ahead…jump in!

readytojumpIt is that moment, just before opening the door to join meeting, before ascending the stairs to go onstage, before opening the curtain. That flash of time when you wonder, ‘do I really want to do this?’

Yes. Yes you do. And here is why: because by stepping into it, you will be able to lay down your thoughts, concerns and over-thinking. It is in this one step – you wrestle back control over what happens next. Because something WILL happen next.

For brands to tell a better story – there is always risk. Especially if that brand is You, Inc. Your clients and fans are wanting to connect with you, and will buy-in to your cause, your passion, your rallying cry, but only if they hear it from you. So time to speak up.

Being stuck keeps things from moving forward. In traffic and in your head. In order to tell a better story – it has to have a beginning, middle and an end, not just a well crafted table of contents.

J. Maureen Henderson wrote in her column on Forbes.com about some simple things to consider to help you take that plunge.

  1. Admitting you are stuck. As Henderson puts it, ‘come clean’. Admitting to being unable or unwilling to move forward through something scary or unknown is the first step. Don’t over-analyze – just admit it and move on.
  2. Motivated by a dream or a nightmare? Sometimes the best motivation is knowing what you don’t want. Deciding to finally get healthy after experiencing a loved one struggling with a health issue brought on by lifestyle choices is running from the negative toward a positive. It was the ‘uh-oh, I better get busy or….’ that got you off the dime. Henderson refers to it as deciding what you don’t want to be. There is no denying that in order to stay moving forward that it is the positive reinforcement that keeps the focus and honors the promise, but a negative motivation to make that first move cannot be dismissed.
  3. On the heals of #2 – just move! Take a big breath and jump. Open the door, feel the spotlight, push back the curtain – because you are on. Greet the moment with an open heart because your best will come through.

Stop denying the process of growth by staying in the shadows. Step into the light of your next great adventure.

Jowers Training Systems

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