3 Ways to Make Lasting Change

May 10, 2010

If you want to make a lasting change in any area of your life, apply these three steps.

1. Become more conscious
2. Create a conscious habit
3. Course Correct

Become more conscious
Consciousness is another word for awareness.  Where ever you struggle in life, whether it be in your leadership, your finances, or your relationships, you must increase your awareness if you want to eliminate the problem.  Awareness is just the first step. Knowledge alone does nothing but alert you to the problem. The next step is action.

Create a conscious habit
In orde to faciliate change you need action, in the form of a new habit. When you first create a new habit you have to think hard about changing the habit. That is because your subconscious programming is in place until you reprogram.  Reprogramming requires you to create a new habit, one which eventually will become part of your unconscious programming.  For example, when I first started using cloth bags to do my grocery shopping, about 80 percent of the time, I forgot to grab the cloth bags until I was half way through the store with groceries in the cart.  I kept making promises to myself that eventually the new habit would sink in, after all, I was aware of what I wanted to change. My change did not become pemanent until I decided to course correct every time my old programming took over.

Course correct
When you start a new habit, you may find yourself even three or four months later slipping back into old programming. This is your perfect opportunity to course correct.  Even after a full year of using cloth bags at the grocery store, occasionlly I would go to a different store, or change up my routine and sure enough, I would forget and leave the cloth bags in the car.

What changed this old programming once and for all, was to immediately course correct. That’s right. Even in the middle of shopping, once I realized I had left the bags in the car, I trudged out to the car to retrieve the bags.

Why? Because I know if I keep making excuses, eventually I will get out of the new habit that is not yet completely programmed. If I experience  a little discomfort by making myself course correct the moment I recognize the problem, then I am more likely to create a solid habit that eventually becomes second nature.

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Reinvention versus Recession

October 22, 2009

Reinvention always feels a bit scary as we leave behind things that no longer serve our best interests. Do we want to let go of the old? No…because we are addicted.

We were addicted to…
• wastefulness and now we are reinventing to being green.
• comparison and we are reinventing to collaborate.
• force and we are reinventing to find our power.
• apathy and now we are reinventing to find purpose.
• Territories and we are reinventing to a global economy

Letting go of addictions never feels good so we think up words like “recession” to describe the withdrawal of letting go of the poisonous substances that threaten to ruin us in the end.

Waiting out the recession keeps us living in drama as a victim, forever looking for a rescuer to bail us out.

Living in a “reinvention” helps us to reclaim our power as we become a creator. The best way to deal with the recessionis to see it as a reinvention, to take full responsibility and keep our eyes on the prize.


The 4 Deadly Habits that Give MLM a Bad Name

March 23, 2009

Many who are in a stage of reinvention decide to get involved with network marketing as their transition business. The business model is sound. It is a method of offering a quality product, while building a client base, and recruiting a  team to leverage income. In addition the training offered is a benefit to people new to business.

There are conflicting statistics about the success or failure rate where variables such as prior experience, time dedicated to learning the systems or commitment to earning a living.

All variables and disagreements aside, my purpose here it so share what I believe to be the 4 bad habits that give MLM or network marketing a bad name and why so many new network marketing people get off to such a bad start.

1. Hidden agendas

2. Product versus people

3. Lack of awareness

4. One-up-man-ship

Hidden Agendas

When I was green and starting my speaking business I can’t tell you the number of times a multi-level-marketer invited me to lunch to meet someone who could take my speaking career to the next level. The promise was delivered in various ways: “I think I can introduce you to a company that could use your training,” or “I can show you how you can be speaking in front of thousands in just a few years.”

Once I got to the luncheon it turned into a presentation about the MLM Company and how once I signed up and recruited my people, I would then have my audience whom I could train. Then it was followed up by a promise that once I made X amount of money the national headquarters would surely want me to be their keynote that year.

The  dishonesty was  justified with, “I just thought once I had your attention and you saw the value you would thank me for opening this door.”

The intention might have been good but the reality is this: There is no justification to lying to someone to trick them into your down-line.

The solution: Be transparent about why you want to meet and quit making assumptions about how someone else needs to build their practices. Never make promises that you cannot fulfill.

Lack of Awareness

It’s great to be passionate about your product, but listening to a one-man show of someone talking about how I should sell their vitamin and how it would changes the world, is a huge turn off, especially when I have my own product to sell.

Several times I’ve been a keynote speaker at a small business event and a network marketer will approach me with ideas about how I can make a fortune selling his product because of my large mailing list. The conversation is always one-sided, over-bearing and without any awareness, the marketer is at the front of the line talking about his product while people are in line waiting to buy my book. Hello??

Solution: Take into consideration the agenda of the other people in your presence. Listen more than you talk. Ask a question instead of spouting out statistics about how your product cures cancer, reduces wrinkles or saves you thousands in legal fees.

Product versus People

The great thing about MLM companies is the training and support they provide. You can’t get this kind of training without paying big bucks if you start from scratch. Yes, the systems are in place, and the tried and true methods work. There’s just one big problem: not everyone is as interested in your product as you are.

There are a couple of products I purchase as a distributor. As much as I love the product, I hate to hear from the person who introduced me to the product.

Every question they ask feels like it’s the opening to a sales pitch or just waiting to share a new statistic. No matter what my answer, they are offering me an upgrade or a new product promising to make my life better. (Let me own that it may just be my perception.) Nonetheless, we never have a conversation that isn’t primarily about how her product can make my life better.

In the end, it’s about your vitamins. It’s not about your pots and pans. It’s not about your cosmetics. It’s about relationships.

The Solution: Strive to be interested in the other before making a sales pitch. Master your energy and slow down your enthusiasm until you make a connection. Find ways to help this person first then they will be more open to listening to you about your product.

One-up-man-ship

This is the very worst habit that I have seen with almost every network marketer. Their product is from heaven and their competitor’s product is evil. The reason many people dread talking to the  multi-level-marketer is that no matter what cosmetic, what vitamin or what juice they are drinking, the network marketer tells them their product  is inferior to the one they represent and they can back it up with “research.”

There’s always a Swiss scientist, a Japanese inventor, a neuron-surgeon or Nobel-prize winner who has done research proving why you are an idiot if you don’t switch products. It is exhausting and off-putting to anyone who has to stand hostage to this kind of conversation.

The solution: Quit trying to prove others wrong and quit talking about how other products are inferior. You only create resistance on the part of your potential client. Simply acknowledge that there are many great products and the reason you switched or went with the one you represent. Then put your tongue in the top of your mouth and avoid the need to argue should they disagree.

All things considered, your expertise, your willingness to work, your commitment to being successful, if you will avoid these four deadly habits I’ll bet you will be a top leader in your network marketing company much quicker than the others who have hidden agendas, talk too much, put product over people, and try to prove everyone else wrong.


It’s Not a Recession it’s a Reinvention

March 18, 2009

Recession…that’s the new buzz word. Today I had a revelation.  What we are going through is  not a recession it’s a reinvention.

Reinvention always feels a bit scary as we leave behind things that no longer serve our best interests.

Do we want to let go of the old? No…because we are addicted.

We were addicted to…

  • wastefulness and now we are reinventing to being green.
  • comparison and we are reinventing to collaborate.
  • force and we are reinventing to find our power.
  • apathy and now we are reinventing to find purpose.
  • business as usual and we are reinventing to see new opportunity.
  • “My territory” and we are reinventing to a global economy.

Letting go of addictions never feels good so we think up words like recession to describe the withdrawal of letting go of the poisonous substances that threaten to ruin us in the end.

Being “in a recession” keeps us living in drama as a victim, forever waiting for a rescuer to bail us out.  Being in a “reinvention” helps us to reclaim our power as we become a creator.

The best way to deal with the “recession” is to see it as a reinvention, to take full responsibility and keep our eyes on the prize.

Join me April 2nd in Springfield Missouri for the collaborative effort between The Skinny Improv and Stop Your Drama as we present the show, “Recession or Reinvention: You Choose!”


Reinvent Your Story

January 12, 2009

So here I was…. I had left a blue collar job where I had worked for over 20 years. I reinvented my life and in a few short years I had delivered speaking engagements to NASA, Sprint, McDonalds and had been the keynote speaker for various professional associations. I developed products purchased by The Detroit Free Press and DTE Energy. Yet, I still felt “unsuccessful.” I hadn’t published a book yet.

The book became the “next island.” The next place to arrive. I compared myself with anyone else who had published.

Everyone Has Challenges

In addition, I was certain this “mind drama” was unique to me. I was sure the most “successful people” never discounted themselves or wondered about their happiness or success. (See how a good story always makes you feel special, different, misunderstood?)

Thank goodness for those highly successful role models willing to share their challenges so we know we are not alone. Just a few weeks ago Oprah talked about the distress she felt because of her weight gain.

Oprah is a role model for society; an example of what is possible. She’s the first African-American billionaire. In 2006 she gave everyone in her studio audience a car and recently donated over 40 million to start the Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy in South Africa for low income girls.

She’s wealthy, generous, popular, brilliant and connected. Oprah’s show airs in over 117 countries in the world. She was reading by age 2 and at age 6 she advanced to third grade. No one can argue about Oprah’s success, yet Oprah sometimes judges herself.

In one of her shows she said, “” All my money and success means nothing if I can’t even control my body.”  (I’m paraphrasing.)

Seek a Higher Truth

Maybe that “feels” true in the midst of a personal failure. Let’s now look for a higher truth to eliminate the judgment and the story.

Money and resources do matter. Isn’t it better to have access to money and success to help you handle the problems? And isn’t it a blessing to be able to share your message to empower millions who falsely believe they are alone?

This is not to criticize Oprah. She is my favorite role model…a light in this world. The point here is even spiritual and conscious people doing great things in the world sometimes are susceptible to “the story” and fail to look for a higher truth.

My challenge to you is to examine the places where you beat yourself up and discount your own brilliance, beauty and successes just because you have had a setback. Be careful about justifying your story by saying, “It’s the truth.”

Stories can be quite powerful. In every story, there is a kernel of truth. The challenge is to seek the higher truth so the story loses power and you reclaim yours.

Want to see more about the signature process?


Four Stages of Life Reinvention

October 13, 2008

Have you ever looked at someone you admired and you wonder “how did they do it?” The natural tendency is to compare yourself and come to the conclusion that you will never be able to have the successes they have had.

This is the wrong mindset because you can’t look at one photograph out of someone else’s

 One Photograph in the Album

One Photograph in the Album

album and think you know about the whole album. Reinvention is a process that comes
in approximately four stages.

1. Dissatisfaction

2. The Search

3. Questioning

4. Commitment

Dissatisfaction

My journey of reinvention started about fifteen years ago with a feeling of dissatisfaction. I knew there must be something more. At this stage, you search for meaning and purpose and you pray for a sign.  I remember thinking that if I could just get a sign as to what I was supposed to be doing then I could start reinventing my life. What people fail to realize is the signs are all around. Most of us just don’t know how to recognize the signs.

The Search

Dissatisfaction is a sign you have been asking for if you are really ready for change.  After all, human beings are only motivated for two reasons: to eliminate pain or to gain pleasure. Most of us will do more to eliminate pain than we will to gain pleasure; therefore dissatisfaction is a necessary ingredient on the road to reinvention. If you weren’t uncomfortable you wouldn’t be willing to change or to try new things in the search. The search can be fun or scary as you step outside your comfort zone.

Eventually you enter the questioning stage.

Questioning

When your search leaves you feeling empty you start asking questions such as “why am I so miserable?” and “why can’t I figure it out.” Then something magical happens when you discover that if you want a better outcome you have to ask a better question.

This opportunity happened to me through a friend, Marsha, who asked me a great question: “What would you do if there were no limits?  After much stuttering and stammering, I said, I would be a dancer or choreographer.

Marsha said, “That’s not going to happen, you aren’t even taking dance lessons!” After some prodding I said my second choice would be to be a motivational speaker.

Wishing is one thing and doing is another. In order to reinvent you must get to the commitment stage.

Commitment

In the commitment stage you start taking action. Once again you experiment with your life much like you did in the “search” phase, but now you have direction. Once you have direction and meaning, discipline is easy. You do difficult things because you see the value of how your undertaking moves you forward.

I started going to Toastmasters to learn the craft of public speaking. Toastmasters totally changed my life.  For four years I attended meetings and I loved every minute of it.  In addition I went back to college and finished my bachelor’s and master’s degree.

The commitment stage is about the action journey.

There are many myths about reinvention and the success journey. Unfortunately, many well meaning people succumb to false beliefs about how the Law of Attraction works,  and about the power of belief.

To read more about “Reading the Signs” and to get an autographed copy of Success is a Given, click here.


Looking for Purpose? Six Re-Invention Steps to Success

October 1, 2008

Recently I spoke at a conference using the title of my book, “Success is a Given: Reading the Signs While Reinventing Your Life.” As would be expected, many in the audience were in the midst of reinvention, looking for purpose, reinventing their career or entering a new decade of life. These life transitions, I call “the search.”

Four major themes emerged though personal conversations:

  • I don’t know my purpose
  • I just turned 40 and I want something more
  • I’m scared, frustrated and overwhelmed
  • I don’t know what to do

It’s easy to let the drama of life-reinvention trigger unhealthy conversations that keep you farther away from your goals. The communication we have with others is always evidence of the emotions going on underneath.

I understand the emotions because I traveled a similar path about 10 years ago. I was getting ready to turn 40, I had worked in a factory all of my life and I was searching for a purpose and a new career. Once I actually quit my job, the world was open to possibilities…in fact, too many possibilities which is just as frightening as none at all.

You go from being marooned on an island with no escape to complete freedom floating in the middle of the ocean with no map, too many islands to choose from and just a couple of oars! It’s easy to let your attitude slip into negativity and desperation as you row in circles trying to chart your course.

Here are six easy tips to reinvention success.

1. Slow down

2. Get some structure

3. Create an inner purpose

4. Experiment

5. Master your communication

6. Start where you are

Slow Down
Slow down and take a breath. This is not the time to panic. When you are searching too hard, you mistake activity for productivity. One woman said she was spending 10 hours a day searching on the computer to find just the right opportunity. I asked her if she was willing to go inward and listen to her voice. Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you are rowing in the right direction.

Get some structure
To increase your personal effectiveness and productivity create some boundaries. If you are completely out of work, set up a schedule for yourself. Get up at the same time every day. Set up specific times for job searching, working out, and create daily routines. Creating boundaries for yourself makes you feel in control instead of lost at sea.

Create an Inner Purpose
Don’t allow searching for your life purpose be the big drama that’s keeping you stuck. Too many people are looking for some big magical ah-ha moment that signifies they finally got their purpose. Although some people claim to have such a moment, the reality is that life is lived in small segments of the “now.” Looking for the big purpose can be like trying to row to an island 5000 miles away. At some point it just gets exhausting and you never truly arrive.

Look first for an inner purpose and then you can always be on purpose no matter what you do to make money. For example, when I was in the midst of my life-purpose drama, I could not for the life of me figure out how to leave my factory job. I came up with an inner purpose called ICARE which stood for “Improving Communication and Relationships Everywhere.” Then I knew that was my north star for everything I did, even while working in the factory.

Experiment
Give yourself a break. Do you really need to have all the answers right now? Life is about enjoying the journey. Give yourself some time to experiment. Try volunteering for a project. Take up a new hobby. Get to know yourself. If you are going through a re-invention such as divorce or career change, it’s important to experiment with life to know what you want to create for the next phase.

Master Your Communication

Master Your Communication

Master Your Communication
Watch the language you use while in the stages of reinvention. Be mindful of sounding like a victim.
Negative self talk becomes negative public talk. Change your attitude and your words will naturally follow.

One woman I talked to kept talking about “I don’t know what to do” and “the reason what I want isn’t possible is because…” No wonder she was feeling lost. My advice to her was to say instead, “I’m in an exciting period of life reinvention and I’m so fortunate to get to try new things, experiment with my life and create exactly what I want for the next phase.

Start where you are.
Life gives you opportunities in each moment to be purposeful. Don’t fall for the illusion that you need some fancy career or big life calling to be purposeful in your life. I remember creating a mantra while I was still at Kraft Foods. Instead of complaining about the job I would say, “Someone has to make cheese.” If you can be on purpose in the mundane, your presence will lead you to the bigger purpose you are searching for.

What myths are you believing about re-invention and success? Get your free copy of The 3 Success Myths and 4 Lies by clicking here.