When I was a child, my parents often entertained guests for dinner. One day, Mom had been busy with preparations in the kitchen, deeply immersed in eggs, flour and butter, with her hair standing in every direction possible. This was a delicate dessert to make, and it needed all her attention. All was quiet when she came flying into the hallway and called the family: she could not find her glasses and needed them right now! And she knew she had used them just a little while ago…
All of us, without exception, immediately dropped everything we were doing, turned around and went hunting through the house. Mom just could not read without her glasses!
We searched in the living room, the dining room, upstairs in the bedrooms; to no avail. Where could her glasses have disappeared to?
Then …. all of a sudden, my brother shouted: ” But Mom, they’re sitting right on your nose!”
In unison, all of us burst into laughter, except Mom; she certainly was not amused. How could we all have been so blind?
When my client Marcia called me early one morning, she was very upset. Her computer was missing important files, they had just … gone. Fortunately, I could put her at ease quite quickly; I had very early on in our working relationship set up regular backups for her. As the backups run automatically, and in the background, Marcia had simply forgotten about them.
Most of us have experienced situations similar to my mother, or Marcia. Often, they now live in our memory as funny stories, and are told as such. I cannot help but wonder, do you sometimes think that you might find yourself in a situation where a restore from backup is impossible? That you have lost something forever? That you are so stressed out, and overwhelmed, that you too don’t see what’s in front of your eyes?
Ever since that day, years ago, my mother always knew where her glasses were. Her solution was simple and effective; she bought a beautifully coloured string which hung around her neck and securely tied her glasses when she didn’t need them. Marcia now makes sure that every new computer is scheduled to have regular backups, so that she won’t find herself in the same situation again.
What solutions have you found in your business that are simple, effective and save you time? Do you know which areas of your business could use some help to run more smoothly and efficiently?
For the past two years, I have been a proud member of a wonderful Toastmasters group. I knew for years that Toastmasters would serve me well and kick-start my speaking skills, and yet, I procrastinated and didn’t explored the possibilities. Maybe it was because of that very first meeting I attended, years ago, that left me saying I’d never, ever join. Or, maybe it was because I was afraid of making a fool of myself. I didn’t think I could do it well.
Then, I took the leap. And to my surprise I survived, quite well! And, watched my skills improve with each speech.
Last year, I registered for a 20-week “Essentials Writing Program.” Again, I had known for a long time that this was something I needed to learn. I didn’t only survive, I enjoyed the course!
A few weeks ago, I gave my ninth Toastmaster speech, incorporating principles learned during the “Essentials Writing Program” with Toastmasters principles.
This is not a perfect speech; there is room for improvement. I am proud of this speech, as I can see how far I have come from the shy, and intimidated Toastmaster two years ago.
I realize that I let my anxiousness dictate. I avoided challenges, and sat safely in my self-spun cocoon.
Now I go out and do the things that give me goose bumps, chills, shivers, and butterflies in my tummy. I experience life’s thrill and feel great! Will you do the same?
A few weeks ago, I attended a Vision Board workshop. Not that I haven’t created a vision board before. I was coming to grips with disappointment and hurt, and I was aware that my vision for 2012 needed to be sharpened and clarified as a last step in my process of not only recovery, but of gaining clarity about where and how I want my business to be at the end of the year.
I wondered, was there a strategy that I should use? Was there anything I needed to prepare for a successful vision boarding session? Or, should I just trust my Inner Self to guide me?
I bought a purple cardboard on which to create my vision and set off to attend the workshop. I felt a bit uneasy, not sure what to expect, and was nervous. When I arrived, a small group of participants was already happily cutting away at magazines, or ripping out entire pages.
A vision board can be done for different purposes. Create one for your personal dream life; add pictures of cruise ships, sunny islands, big cars, sunshine and whatever else you desire; or create one for your business, adding pictures and words that deeply resonate with what you want to achieve. For me, both are inseparable; my thought was to somehow divide my board, and create an area for each; it also was important for me to bring both areas together.
I put trust in my Inner Self, and used the pictures, words, and expressions that represented my desires. While cutting out an image or words, I dreamt how it would feel when I had experienced them. It felt so good.
All of the words and pictures I chose touched my heart and represent what I so wish for.
I started to arrange my board; personal ambitions mostly on the left, and professional desires mostly in the middle, and on the right. I didn’t pay much attention on the curve of the upward trend; I was only interested in joining all three areas. I felt the joining as a very important part.
And then …. BAM!
I looked at the board I created and I was in awe. I never dreamt that my creation would have such an impact on me. I felt … happy, and surprised; I felt elated to read the strong statements.
Some messages were shouting out at me: “here, here, look here;” others are more subtle. I asked myself: what was the message intended for me in the left side leaning so towards the right side, whereas the right one was seemingly going up much more straight? Then the thought hit me that the left side is looked at as representing femininity and receiving; the right side stands for masculinity and giving. I see that there is a fusing, a melting going on with my leaning Tower of Pisa, as I lovingly call it, and I am thinking about HOW this is happening to ME right now. It seems there is some balancing happening between receiving and giving; what a wonderful growth potential.
It all is coming in little whispers, bit by bit.
Am I looking at my vision board? You bet!
Am I listening to my vision board? You bet!
When you sit down and do your own vision board I promise you, you’ll be amazed and in awe about the message you give yourself! Take time and look at the board often, as it tells you something different every time. Be open, trust your Inner Self, your gut, embrace what you see, your future, and run with it! This tool is one of the best tools I know to help create your future, to analyze your desires, and to determine your path; as it has helped me create my vision.
Will you share what impact your vision board experience has had on you you?
I love what I do, because I make my clients dream bigger! Wow, what a statement. And I love that it’s true.
But recently, my heart got hurt badly. I lost some clients. One of them ended her relationship with me in a hurtful manner. All of this happened within a very short time.
At first, I went through all the emotions; I was angry, I felt betrayed, I felt I could not create the client relationship I so yearn to have with all my clients. I was emotional, and in tears. I didn’t believe I could do it, and was full of self-pity.
Then, I decided enough was enough. I went and had an energy clearing session, and Reikki; I did meditation; I went into my core and examined what it really is that I want, for my business and my personal life. I asked myself what lesson there was to be learned from this experience.
I talked with friends and business people about how I work my business, about my client intake process, and I slowly created a vision; a vision that is still much in the beginning stage and that comes to me in little whispers. I created a new Vision Board for 2012. I found myself adding words, such as “Brilliant Woman,” “Voice of Success,” “Speaking,” and “Going from Amateur to Ace.”
Within a few weeks, I went from being upset, and angry to shaping my vision. This could only happen because I had the time to do what I did. I feel renewed energy surging through me.
So, if you ever find yourself in a similar situation, trust that there is a reason for this happening. Trust your Inner Self, the Universe, that all is well and will be well. Take some time to grief, but then move on to positively, and purposefully polishing your life’s path.
I do not suggest you go through a loss like I did of more than 50% of your clients within a few weeks. But, I am grateful for having been given this time to reflect, to grow, to shape, to further define myself, and my goals; and to delve deeply into who is my ideal client.
I say “Thank You” to the people who created this opportunity for me.