Friday, July 31, 2009
Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul© and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get your FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at: www.FreeSuccessStrategies.com
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Much of my career practice and coaching involves an organizing thought: You own the business of your career. It’s your work life mission, your vision. For years I coached and, some would say, admonished my clients to take ownership of their career paths as they work for someone else. When you do not own the business, one of the greatest ways you can help or hurt your career centers around your own online and offline reputation. With so many choices and so much information at the click of a computer key, we may feel information overload no matter what our career field might be. We may also feel empowered to create or destroy.
What’s easy can be fun or dangerous. In a matter of minutes, you can set up your Blogger, WordPress, Typepad or related blog site. And the minute you post? Your words can be accessed by billions of people around the world. No Web designer needs to be hired. No technical guru at x dollars an hour has to listen to and potentially kill your ideas. You own this medium. You have freedom. You can say or cite anything. There’s no waste of time and no need to white-board everyone else’s ideas.
It’s so easy but don’t let the impulsive ease of blogging let you forget about the eyes that watch your art, your views, your passions, protests, observations and objections.
How might this medium help – or hurt – your career direction and path?
How it can help:
1. You have an audience. Keep it positive. Blogging may add to the company’s brand and your position as an authority or subject matter expert within your company or your field. Jane S. worked at a powerful, regional advertising company. She cleared her personal blog through her boss, her boss’ boss and her company human-resources department. They said she didn’t have to, but with my advice she did. During a recession, she has received two promotions, and her blog has since been incorporated into the main site of the corporation because of its business development prowess. She says, “Now 40 percent of my time is incorporating my personal brand or blog into the company’s brand with the complete blessing of the executive team.”
2. Paint the right picture. Drive customer confidence. As you cite critical sources and make intelligent, important observations, your personal blog augments your position within your company and promotes your company. You never bash your company. You can be yourself and be authentic. James P., a salesman, asked for permission from his company to comment on his business travels and business adventures as a technology sales consultant. Customers love the funny, idiosyncratic stories. James says, “My blog has been a business generator for the company and earned me four speaking engagements on behalf of the company and four speaking engagements locally that were sponsored by local sales networking organizations. I can’t believe it. It’s made me kind of recession-proof in my career!” His first book is being self-published, and his company uses him to teach and train all new sales personnel.
3. Get a raise and a promotion. Defend the faith. Blogging helps you document and publish your ideas while associating with great people. Again, Alice P. published her blog under a pseudonym two years ago. Today she has kept the quirky observations about life, travel, art and kids quite eclectic. Her blogging has incorporated funny observations about office life without offending anyone at work. It’s been serialized and referred to by the company. The CEO thought her site should be commented on, featured and linked to by the company to help with Esprit de corps. Alice states, “Now I have an in-house company editor who helps me promote and publish my blog. We’ve added videos and more fun stuff. The company pays me monthly.” She keeps her comments happy, funny and still personal.
How blogs can hurt:
1. One small step. Negative posts can be fatal. Blogging can open you up for many legal, liability and employment questions, problems or crises. Last year, Jim C. came to me after he had posted a rather nasty post on his Top Ten Worst Retailers in the World blog. His company did business with two of those retailers and as nosy or highly sensitive corporate personnel found out about his lambaste, it caused a rift at the company. According to Jim, “This year for other reasons I was let go. It was not the economy. I crossed the line.”
2. Pictures tell a thousand stories. Larry seemed to pipe up at work a lot about things that bothered him. So he decided to publish a seemingly anonymous blog. As a techy he posted hundreds of comments on political ideas, named people he thought should be impeached and railed against what he considered bad taste and fashion. He did this anonymously under a lot of different names. But when he decided to take pictures at the year-end Christmas party and publish captions that offended nearly everyone, he was, well, suspended without pay forever (fired).
3. Beautiful art can be destroyed. Craig became disillusioned after an 18-year career. Nearing retirement, his company had promoted three people younger than him to the technology-director level. Years ago he had engineered their Web presence. Knowing that having no blog presence left his company vulnerable, he found it increasingly interesting and titillating when he created a blog presence; added negative comments to company products; and dumped a list of customer complaints onto the proverbial, anonymous IHATEXCOMPANY.com, the site a former employee developed to stick it to the man. Under pressure, the IHATEXCOMPANY.com author faced legal entanglements and gave up Craig’s name as a blogger. Now Craig is in litigation. It’s not looking good.
Imagine you’re an artist like Michelangelo dipping brush into paint; a seemingly limitless creative well. You’re halfway done with your masterpiece, the signature of your worklife and rather spiritual mission. As you take your impossible position on the scaffold to paint more of the Sistine Chapel you have a thought. Imagine you could destroy your Sistine Chapel with one strike of the match. Like the great artist, blogging can help you take ownership of your career and worklife vision. Of course, it can also be just for fun, too. But let’s also realize you, like the great artist, have the power to create or destroy your career future with just a few strokes or decisions.
Make sure you know your audience and you understand the potential impact of your newly minted blog posts. It could make a lasting impression and a permanently positive or negative impact on your career picture.
Paint yours. Paint it well.
Friday, July 3, 2009
Why are some people more successful than others? Why do some people make more money, live happier lives and accomplish much more in the same number of years than the great majority?I started out in life with few advantages. I did not graduate from high school. I worked at menial jobs. I had limited education, limited skills and a limited future.And then I began asking, "Why are some people more successful than others?" This question changed my life.Over the years, I have read thousands of books and articles on the subjects of success and achievement. It seems that the reasons for these accomplishments have been discussed and written about for more than two thousand years, in every conceivable way. One quality that most philosophers, teachers and experts agree on is the importance of self-discipline. As Al Tomsik summarized it years ago, "Success is tons of discipline."Some years ago, I attended a conference in Washington. It was the lunch break and I was eating at a nearby food fair. The area was crowded and I sat down at the last open table by myself, even though it was a table for four.A few minutes later, an older gentleman and a younger woman who was his assistant came along carrying trays of food, obviously looking for a place to sit.With plenty of room at my table, I immediately arose and invited the older gentleman to join me. He was hesitant, but I insisted. Finally, thanking me as he sat down, we began to chat over lunch.It turned out that his name was Kop Kopmeyer. As it happened, I immediately knew who he was. He was a legend in the field of success and achievement. Kop Kopmeyer had written four large books, each of which contained 250 success principles that he had derived from more than fifty years of research and study. I had read all four books from cover to cover, more than once.After we had chatted for awhile, I asked him the question that many people in this situation would ask, "Of all the one thousand success principles that you have discovered, which do you think is the most important?"He smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye, as if he had been asked this question many times, and replied, without hesitating, "The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, 'Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.'"He went on to say, "There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.With plenty of room at my table, I immediately arose and invited the older gentleman to join me. He was hesitant, but I insisted. Finally, thanking me as he sat down, we began to chat over lunch.It turned out that his name was Kop Kopmeyer. As it happened, I immediately knew who he was. He was a legend in the field of success and achievement. Kop Kopmeyer had written four large books, each of which contained 250 success principles that he had derived from more than fifty years of research and study. I had read all four books from cover to cover, more than once.After we had chatted for awhile, I asked him the question that many people in this situation would ask, "Of all the one thousand success principles that you have discovered, which do you think is the most important?"He smiled at me with a twinkle in his eye, as if he had been asked this question many times, and replied, without hesitating, "The most important success principle of all was stated by Thomas Huxley many years ago. He said, 'Do what you should do, when you should do it, whether you feel like it or not.'"He went on to say, "There are 999 other success principles that I have found in my reading and experience, but without self-discipline, a person with every blessing of background, education and opportunity will seldom rise above mediocrity.
by Jack Canfield
Pop Quiz: Can success be sped up? Is there an antidote to slow outcomes despite arduous planning and actions taken? What's the secret for seeing huge results right now?! I get versions of these questions frequently from people who feel frustrated at sluggish progress in their success journey - despite all the know-how and principles they rigorously employ.Let's get one thing straight...When we admire someone's success, or even our own, we often focus on the end result and not so much on the effort (and time) that it took to get there. This can cultivate unrealistic expectations, especially the idea that overnight success can happen through careful strategy and an execution of sound advice. The truth be told, success typically follows a series of little events and achievements that can seem to take an eternity, that include a few disappointments along the way, and that challenge everything about you to the core - your stamina, courage, integrity, and even your willingness to keep going. If you focus on what's not working, guess what: You're likely coming from a place of aggravation as your mind wraps around all that is wrong. You may even have negative thoughts like "I'm not good enough," "It will never work," or "Something must be wrong with me." What this mentally does is engender more of these counter-productive feelings. And given what we know about the Law of Attraction, you attract what you are feeling. So negative experiences, people, and results will beget more negative experience, people, and results. There's not much success in that. The key, then, is to focus on what IS working. To do so, I recommend two simple practices: journaling and meditation. Maintaining a journal (I call it an Evidence Log, Results Journal, or Gratitude Journal) is a great way to steer your attention to the positive and continually renew your vision for yourself.Start each day with reflections on what you are grateful for in your life (list them out!) and end each day with notes on what went right (again, write them down), however small they may seem. Spend time each day in quiet contemplation, prayer or meditation. Meditation can be powerful tool for arriving at solutions to problems and shifting your attitude so you can attract success sooner rather than later. The magic of meditation is its ability to essentially shut down the outer layer of your judgmental, highly-critical brain and allow your unconscious mind to take over. This is where you enter a deeper state of inner peace and joy, tapping into a higher level of creativity that will help usher in the results you want. (Don't know how to meditate? Lots of books and materials are available to guide you this practice. It's easier than you think. ) Let's say you're doing ALL these things, but you still aren't happy with your results...I'll ask you then, are you taking real ACTION? You may be taking the actions you are used to taking. But if you keep doing what you've already done, then you'll keep getting what you've always gotten. It's a matter of practicing some new behaviors. Shake things up a bit and see if you can take new actions or modify existing ones. Remember the Rule of 5. Every day do five specific things that take you toward your goal. Change up the five actions regularly and be open to feedback so you know when you're off course. Lastly, I want to remind you about patience. It's natural to underestimate how long a certain goal can take, especially a profound one. When I set a goal to become a millionaire the year was 1983. How long did it take? Eleven years. It took time for Chicken Soup for the Soul to hit the bestseller lists. You could say our tenure on the New York Times list was more than a decade in the making. That's a lot of patience for someone who initially wanted overnight success.So, yes, patience is a virtue. But keep at it, and in no time, you'll be only one week, or one day away from your ultimate success. Remember... be grateful, reflect on what IS working and continue to take ACTION!© 2009 Jack Canfield* * *
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