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Post #6 Tools, Tips, Tricks -- What If Today Was Your Last

I had the privilege on interviewing Klyn Elsbury on The Nice Guys podcast this week. Klyn is a survivor, a thriver and a champion entrepreneur that lives with cystic fibrosis. "We all need to be survivors. For everybody that has had that moment in their life where they don't know if they can continue. It might not be a hospital bed, it might not be corporate America. It can be a divorce or it can be a business, it can be watching their children suffer. You just don't know if you want to wake up the next morning. It's that inner voice that tells you, you can do it. It's about finding the inspiration and the everyday attitude that you have (to move forward)." Klyn provided this week's tool, tip and trick. 

Tool - Time is the one thing we can not ever get back. Get Buffer -- "Without buffer, I would be wasting so much of my time. And I live every day like today was my last." Buffer is a way to manage your time spent on social media. Any post that you want to share, Buffer manages those posts and distributes them for you at the best possible time of day. Bottom line, you fill Buffer up and it will keep your feed active and sharing your content and the content of those you respect all day long.

Tip - Engage. "Find the most successful person you know, or the type of person you want to be like, or the entrepreneur you really look up to...get on social media, contact them."  I couldn't agree more. Social media brings us closer than ever to the "rock stars" in our industries. Reach out, connect and engage. They want to help you.

Trick - "I Am _____."  Write on a sheet of paper every morning the words, I am (blank). Who do you need to be to get what needs to be done, done? Get yourself in the right frame of mind by filling in the blank. Examine your schedule for the day and use the events in your day to determine who you need to be today. Share your "I am" messages with yourself throughout your day. "Use it as your mantra to get through all of your challenging moments of the day."

To hear more of my interview with Klyn Elsbury,  subscribe to The Nice Guys podcast. Klyn's episode will automatically download to your phone on air date. Klyn's book "I Am ____:" is available on Amazon.com



Post #2 Tools, Tips, Tricks: Elevator Speech, You Time, Networking

Tool: Building your elevator speech does not have to be challenging and the end result does not have to be canned. I recently had Fred Miller on my podcast discussing a No Sweat Elevator Speech and Fred shared an easy to follow elevator speech making template. Click here for a free download of the template.

Tip: Scheduling YOU time is one of the most effective ways to build productivity into your day. For the next 2 days, during your normal work day, add 2 slots of 15 minutes into each day, labeled YOU time. Ground rule: You cannot use this time to work, use technology or multi-task. Walking, napping, exercising, laughing and reading are completely acceptable activities. By adding YOU time to your schedule, you will become more productive, less tired, more patient with the people in your life, and begin to lead a more balanced life, 15 minutes at a time. Next week, see if you can expand to 5 days, adding YOU time to your schedule.

Trick: Networking made easier. If you are like most people, you do not like networking events. I used to find the time I spent networking unproductive. I never knew what to say or what to ask people I met, trying to be spontaneous but at the same time, trying to structured in what I said and did to make the most of this incredibly painful time. Next time, start out your conversations this way. When you approach someone say, "I'm not of fan of networking, can I ask you a question? When you come to events like this, what is your goal?" I think this sets the tone for a conversation that is genuine, open and honest. I have found conversations that begin this way have led to some great discussions about human behavior, personalities and eventually business as well. Build a relationship, the business will come.

People often complain about a lack of time when the lack of direction is the real problem.
— Zig Ziglar



What is Your Do-Over Moment?


If you could go back in time and rewrite your history for just one moment, precisely just one decision, what would it be? As kids playing games, we'd always yell, "Do-over!" when the desired outcome was not quite up to par or when something unexpected skewed results.  So what is your do-over moment? 

Let's establish a ground rule before the onset of determining your do-over moment. Armed with the outcome and knowledge of future events you cannot alter anything but your decision. Simply put, you can only check or uncheck a yes/no box or a do/don't do decision. For example, you cannot pick the winning lottery numbers, but you can decide to play or not play the lottery. But you could go back and decide not to accept a job offer, a marriage proposal or the keys to a car fated to have an accident.

Understanding your do-over moment can help you write a better future from this moment moving forward.

This is not an exercise in futility. Understanding your do-over moment can help you write a better future from this moment moving forward. It's never too late to take action. While we cannot change the past, understanding the consequences of the decisions we have made helps us build better decision making muscle moving forward. 

This exercise also helps you realize the fragile nature of life. Even small decisions can have enormous impact, and that "what ifs" won't create a life of regret, but rather, just the opposite, it will help us understand our huge potential. Go ahead, what is your do-over moment? Share it in the comments below.



10 Ways To Know If You Have A Winning Job

As seen on HuffPost Career section Jan 2nd, 2017

A good job is hard to come by. A great job is even harder to find, but when you do, you feel like a part of the fabric that makes up the organization. When you have a winning job your purpose becomes a lot more clear, and you have far more responsibility than punching a clock, following a set of procedures and collecting a paycheck. 

The average person will go through five or more of career changes in their lifetime, and even more individual jobs. Some will be an ugly fit, many of them will be average, and if you are lucky one of them will be the perfect fit for you. 

Finding the perfect match will require patience, hard work and effort. Often, it's a job just to find the perfect job, but when you do, the job will grow, change and mold as much to you as you do to it.

Here are 10 ways to know you have a winning job:

1. You are challenged. When you are challenged, you stay interested and rarely become bored. In theory, getting paid to do an easy job might seem like a nice idea, but challenging jobs keep you sharp, help stretch you to your full potential and help you to become a more confident person.

2. You are empowered.  When you are empowered, you become a more creative problem solver, the quality of the work you do improves and your sense of ownership is increased. You feel like you are part of team, working in unison with others. Not only are you winning but your organization's customers are winning as well. When you are empowered, everybody wins.

A winning job will have systems in place to train you so well that you should be able leave at any time and be their competition, but treat you so well that you would not want to leave.

3. You are rewarded for your creativity. Outside the box thinkers should be rewarded for their creativity. When you display creativity,  you have a vested interest in helping to create new systems and solving problems. When you are creative you have a voice and are encouraged to participate. The reward does not necessarily need to be financial, but rather, just the fact that you are being recognized for your creativity is often times enough to make you feel like you are winning on the job.

4. You are compensated and recognized based upon your performance. Hard work should be noticed and although it's wonderful to feel like you are a part of the team, nothing beats a pat on the back, genuine gratitude and/or compensation for extra effort. That doesn't mean you should be expecting a bonus every time you burn the midnight oil or chip in to do an extra project. Having a winning job means your employer is aware and gives you two thumbs up for a job well done.

5. Your time is your own. Technology is on your side today and often times it's just as easy to do your job from somewhere other than at your desk. A winning job allows you some flexibility where, when and how you get your job done. If this is important to you, set a clear line of expectations with your employer so that you have flexibility on your side.

A winning job allows you flexibility where, when and how you get your job done.

6. You are appreciated for both your efforts and your results. It's not just what you do, but how you do it, and if you have a winning job you are appreciated for not only the results but the methods by which you accomplish your job as well. 

7. Mistakes are not your enemy, but rather, a mark of growth. Mistakes are bound to happen, it's what comes next that really counts. When you have a winning job, you are not admonished when you make a mistake, but rather, encouraged to help resolve the problem and develop new solutions. If you are encouraged to learn from the lessons learned from your mistake, you have a winning job.

8. You are part of a team that values, appreciates and acknowledges you.  The sum is greater than the parts, and being on a team that is properly managed, will help bring out your strengths and allow you to become a more effective employee. When your team appreciates and acknowledges you, you will want to work harder, do a better job and feel more fulfilled.

A great job is hard to find, but when you do, you feel like a part of the fabric that makes up the organization.

9. Communication is two way, not one. Winning jobs provide an opportunity to have an open, honest conversation with your employer, without fear of losing your job or negative consequences. Job satisfaction increases when you know you are being heard. 

10. You have the freedom to leave anytime, but don't want to. A winning job will have systems in place to train you so well that you should be able leave at any time and be their competition, but treat you so well that you would not want to leave. 

In order for employers that create a winning job, they not only have to understand and work towards the goals of the organization, but they must take into account the goals of its employees as well, cultivating the whole person. Employers that understand their employees have lives outside the company truly have the opportunity to create winning jobs.

In the end, winning jobs create employees that want the best for the organization and its customers, a win for everyone involved.



Just Keep Walking

Make 2017 the year you just keep walking. Too often our goals are lofty, unrealistic and outside of range. If you truly want to be successful in the upcoming year, add a dash of simplicity to your goal setting recipe. Sometimes it requires only putting one foot in front of the other. Make 2017 the year you just keep walking.

Life will pass you by if you let it, so as you walk, pick up your head and observe what is going on around you. Don’t be just a witness to life, but instead, be a participant. As you go your way, continue walking past the critics and the naysayers. Don’t let their words or actions deter you from walking. Nor should you let their words slow you down. Make 2017 the year you just keep walking.

To be successful, look for the cheerleaders and balcony people in your life. Embrace their words and encouragement.

Conversely, look for the cheerleaders and balcony people in your life. Embrace their encouragement and their positive energy, allowing it to be a springboard for your actions. There will be detours along the way, bumps in the road and failures on your way to success. Make 2017 the year you just keep walking.

Do not compare your middle to someone else’s end. Self doubt will creep into your plans, negative self talk can wreak havoc with your positivity. Do not let it. You will not feel you are moving as quickly as you should be moving, but don’t let that have an impact on your plans. Make 2017 the year you just keep walking.

Your ego may get in the way, telling you that you are better than the goals you have set for yourself. Remain humble yet realistic as you quicken your pace at those moments. Somedays you will be able to walk faster than others. Many days you will feel like you are unable to put one foot in front of the other, but in either case, keep telling yourself to make 2017 the year you just keep walking.

If you feel as though there is too big a gap between where you are now and success, you must believe you can cross the gorge; success is much closer than you think.

The elements are right for success. You are in the right place and the timing is now. It does not matter what is going on in your life and if you are going through especially chaotic times, keep going, do not let it stop you from moving forward. If you feel as though there is too big a gap between where you are now and success, you must believe you can cross the gorge; success is much closer than you think. No matter what, make 2017 the year you just keep walking.

I have been blessed with an incredible community of supporters, encouragers and amazing people in my life. You are a valuable part of my Nice Guy Community and I feel lucky to have you travel with me on my journey into 2017. But this is not my journey alone, this is yours as well. I encourage you to reach out to me if ever you feel as though the journey is too difficult for you. Make 2017 the year you just keep walking.

Note: Special thanks to good friend and Nice Guy Community member Casey Cornelius for inspiring this post.