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Posts Tagged ‘authentic’

Are you reading this blog post because you are procrastinating?

Oh procrastinating business owner, does your “to-do” list include things such as:

  • Sign more clients (umm… yeah!)
  • Identify places to speak (if they could just hear my message…)
  • Find prospects (where are they hiding?)

Do you look at your calendar and realize that you have no meetings with key influencers or collaborators or … yikes… potential clients/customers? Is that why you are procrastinating today?

There is simple connection tip that works to solve this dilemma every time.

Get out from behind your computer and go meet someone face to face.

I’m not kidding.

Not a phone call. Go outside and meet them.

Don’t get me wrong, there are so many amazing connections made every day via telephone but there is something extra special about sitting across from another person. Challenge yourself to put one- just one- face to face meeting on your calendar for this week. Show up engaged and asking for referrals, collaborators and ideas.

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Coffee Location:  My Livingroom

Today’s Beverage of Choice: Starbucks Venti Americano

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Muppet Movie Sing-A-Long

On Saturday, I went to a Muppet Movie Sing-A-Long.

Really!

As a celebration of Jim Henson on the last weekend of the exhibition of his work at the Museum of Moving Image here in NYC, his daughter, Heather Henson led a fun interactive screening of The Muppet Movie (1979).

There we were. A theater filled with hundreds of children and adults acting like children- complete with goodie bags filled with props.  Balloons, tiaras, glow sticks, noisemakers, feathers and so many other fun surprises for just that right moment in the movie.

Most of us had a favorite Muppet t-shirt, hat or memorabilia with us. Here’s a picture of me and my new Kermit backpack.

Just a room filled with laughter and childlike wonderment for two hours.

It didn’t matter I was still healing from my horrible cold.

I still laughed out loud at the jokes that I clearly now understand are adult jokes (who knew?!) and cried like I always do as I sang “Rainbow Connection”! Just a magical afternoon of stepping outside of my busy life of responsibility to feel like I was 12 again!

When was the last time you let go like this?

It really boosts my creativity- how about yours?



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New Year’s Day.

A magical day full of possibility.

A time to “take stock” of life.

A bridge of incredible transition.

This transition has been underway all year- as I have been growing, building and changing. In fact, haven’t we all been working toward this all year? Now it is our chance to leave all that we did not achieve, did not finish and did not start- BEHIND US- No Regrets!

The New Year’s Day preparation formally began for me on December 28- Good Riddance Day! My fabulous NYC entrepreneurial friend, Carolyn Herfurth discovered this event and off we went with our bags of symbolic things in our life to which we were ready to say “good riddance”! Tossing those token items away brought me lots of laughter, quite a bit of cheering and a few bittersweet tears.

But it is not all about clearing things from my life. It is also all about hope. Hope for the future. Hope for 2012. And that’s where the Wishing Wall came in. I just LOVE this concept and plan to make it a part of my New Year’s transition ritual every year!

When the ball dropped in Times Square and the confetti fluttered down, one of those orange pieces of confetti had my wish for 2012 on it! Magical!

Now when I wake up in the morning, the New Year is underway. My list of dreams and goals written out and kept close by because I need to constantly review and be inspired.

What about you? Are you ready? Have you completed your New Year’s rituals?

Thank you for being such an amazing part of my community!

Wishing you joy- pure joy- in the most unexpected ways in 2012.

 

 

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Coffee Location:  Sitting by my Christmas tree

Today’s Beverage of Choice: Starbucks Via in my favorite blue/brown mug

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Even in indecision, I am making a decision.

Learned that first-hand this week.

Truth be told, I have learned this lesson over and over again in my life, but this was the week when it all clicked in a whole new way. The evolution of my emotional and spiritual self-colliding right into the long list of things I want for my life and business.

Like so many of you, I have made list upon list of what I want for my life. Opportunities, relationships, $$, happiness, friends, health goals and the list goes on and on. I have been filling journals and post-it notes with lists in various forms for decades.

However, over the past few months I’ve been challenged by some dear friends to create a few new lists about different aspects of my life. And this time to be VERY specific. More specific then I ever thought necessary. The kind of specific that at times felt a little ridiculous. But I did it. I did it because to be honest, my way had not been working for me. What did I have to lose?

Making these VERY specific lists- one about life and one about business- forced me to make a decision on some level. Do I want this or that? Is this particular characteristic of my business a non-negotiable? Each extremely specific item on the list was a decision.

And then I did the seemingly impossible next step. I let go of the results and the timing. Yes, you heard me. I let go of the results and the timing. Gave it up to the Universe and God.  Of course, I took my will back many times over those few weeks of letting go. Wanting so much to control the outcome- and then realizing that I really can’t. That is madness. Honestly, I have lived for years saying I don’t control the outcome but secretly thinking that maybe I did. (can you relate?)

All those years of not being specific.

All those lists of things I wanted without really committing to them with specificity.

I was living in a form of indecision. And that was a choice. That indecision was a decision. Quite profound to me actually.

Now I am actively letting go.

The result? Already in only a week of this daily (sometimes hourly) practice, I am seeing little miracles.  I am being provided even MORE than I asked for. Not always in the same “package” as I had envisioned but exactly what I wanted and then some.

I just had to share in case it can help you as you reflect on 2011 and begin setting your goals for 2012.

Happy New Year!

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For those of you who have ever spent more than an hour with me in your lifetime, you know  two of my passions are Christmas and Connecting. The joy I receive from the twinkling lights, snow, beautiful childhood songs pumping through the streets (or my apartment), and gorgeously wrapped gifts I have realized is so similar to the thrill I feel when I meet someone and find a connection-even the smallest little thing. You are a Wellesley woman? You can’t go a day without coffee either? You used to live in my neighborhood-Don’t you love Morningside Heights? You have cats you adore also? You are from Upstate NY-no way?! And the list goes on!

During this holiday season, there is so much encouragement to spread hope and good cheer. I encourage that wholeheartedly myself. However, for many the holiday season also comes with a tremendous amount of pressure-both in terms of time and financial expectations. It causes such a challenge because it is also the perfect time to be connecting and spreading  cheer to people you will want to build deeper relationships with in 2012 and beyond.

You can see where the conflict comes in!

You might think, “Bryn, it is difficult enough to finish all the holiday shopping, attend all (or at least some) of the parties, and finish decorating. I have no time or energy left to connect with MORE people.”

No worries! Below I have offered a few ideas to help you leverage both your limited hours in the day and your over-tapped bank account during this celebratory season.

My brainstorming session on this topic began with several assumptions:

  1. You need rich and prosperous connections to build your business, career, associations at large or volunteer activities in 2012.
  2. At this moment, you estimate you have less than 2 hours to focus on this connection activity before January 1st.
  3. It better not cost a fortune because you are “all in” this holiday season!

Strategy, it all begins with Strategy! Not the kind that requires a business plan (but gosh, if you have that business plan handy, you may want to pull it out and take a look at the goals that were not quite fulfilled this year or perhaps the goals you have in mind for 2012).

What I am suggesting here is to do the following 10 minute exercise: Clear your mind. Put yourself in a quiet spot where there is little chance of interruption for 10 minutes. Grab a piece of paper and a pen and take the following steps:

– Reflect on 2011-big moments of elation, tough challenges, and lessons learned then write the 4 people’s names that come to mind in reaction to that 2011 reflection.

– Think about what the first few months of 2012 will look like for your life, career, business, etc. and write down the first 4 names that pop in your head in association with that image of next year.

– Write the 2 people that nag at you in the back of your mind. They seem to always be on your “to do” list. Maybe you promised you would call/write/lunch but never did. Maybe you met the person and thought, “I really want to spend more time with this person and now it just seems embarrassing how much time has elapsed.”

THERE-you have 10 names! That wasn’t hard was it? Any repeats? You can consolidate the list of course and now you have less than 10. But no more than 10 here please. You do not get extra “connection points” for making a long list that will be too long to tackle and ultimately end in defeat.

Beside each of those names, write the action you plan to take to reconnect. Remember, we want to keep this simple but also stand out in the crowd.

Even with dear friends or former colleagues who might be waiting to hear from you, at this time of year being a bit original will only help you to make the quality connection for which you are aiming. Therefore, I would personally suggest you stay away from emails and ecards. Inboxes are flooded this time of year with offers, end of year issues, and those very same emails and ecards I am suggesting you avoid.

Let’s think creatively here-but still adhere to the last two principles of this exercise: not time consuming or expensive. Here are a few suggestions of mine. Hopefully, they will prompt a few of your own that are specifically linked to your community, your business or area of the world.

Make a minimal donation in their name. Do you know they have a certain passion, charity, or do a tremendous amount of volunteer work at a certain organization? The organization will be thrilled with any $10 or $15 donation they receive and you can often request a card or an acknowledgement email to be sent to the person you are honoring with the donation. I love when people have done this for me-rather than bringing me a small gift I may not need or food I do not eat. You get the picture. Very personal and all about them and their interests. When I have been a recipient in the past, I feel so “heard.”

Send a New Year’s Card. Really. These work brilliantly. First of all, they are nondenominational (Happy Holidays or blank cards work great for this). Plus, the holidays are winding down. You have time to write the card and it will be received when their mailbox has been cleared of holiday cards, catalogs and gifts. The card should include three components: A wish for Happy New Year-a line about the connection you have made in the past (great volunteering with you at that event-who knew we had so much in common)-and a line about the connection you hope to make in the new year (I will give you a call later in January when things have calmed down and we can schedule a time for lunch). Be certain that whatever you add here is reasonable for you. This is your chance to offer next steps that will be followed through with and it is up to you and only you to make that happen. So do not over-promise.

Create a Social Media Call-out. For those of you who love social media like I do, this will be a fun and effective way to connect-but only if two factors exist. 1. You love love love social media (because this connection activity should not be a chore) 2. The person you are targeting ALSO loves social media (maybe you even met them there!) Here are a few ideas:

Twitter: Create a tweet that talks about them. Use their handle of course. Talk about a special offering they have (providing them with a little publicity) Talk about the impact they have made in your life/business. And then-tweet it at least three times over the course of a few days so it will get more exposure.

Facebook: Dedicate your status to them with the same premise as Twitter. Write about their impact, the special project they are working on, their website, the contributions they made to the community, etc.

LinkedIn: You can dedicate your status here also-and even link it to your twitter account with the new LinkedIn function if you choose to keep it under 140 characters. Also, LinkedIn is a great place to show your appreciation with an unsolicited recommendation! It does not have to be lengthy. Maybe a paragraph or two but the impact will last throughout the year.

Have fun connecting and reconnecting with these people. Taking action on less than 10 people before the beginning of the year (10 minutes on each one is all!) and reap the benefits throughout all of 2012. I am now off to do this exercise myself. Happy Holidays to you and your loved ones!

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Everything is changing.

I am on the edge. The edge of that beautiful cliff at sunset.  Do I stand here and watch the sunset until the opportunities fade into the horizon or do I free-fall? Trusting I will be caught. I will be cared for.

Free-falling is the answer.

That is how it feels. Beautiful sunset surrounding me. There is so much more faith than fear but wow… this is uncharted territory. I do not ever remember being suspended in life this way before.

Over the next few months watch for some big announcements. Changes in business. Changes in life. Changes in perspective. Changes in team, collaborators and partners. Nothing is safe from change in my life right now apparently.

But why play it “safe”?

I could have stayed in Corporate for that!

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  • Did you ever wake up and think, “What I am I forgetting?” “There is something that I am supposed to be doing today but I cannot for the life of me remember what it is. Darn.” That nagging feeling that will drive you crazy all day.
  • Did you ever think that there is a decision you need to make to move your life or business forward, but you just can’t tap into it?
  • There is something really obvious you are forgetting that lies just below the surface but you cannot seem to access it?I have definitely had that feeling. Many times in my life in fact. Usually at times of big transition. But the joke is, I do not know I am in a big transition. I just feel like I am losing my mind.Here are some signs that you might be in this position too. You think to yourself (but don’t dare say aloud):
    • What am I missing?
    • Am I losing my mind?
    • I don’t feel like me.
    • Why am I so exhausted no matter how much I sleep?
    • I am starving. What is going on?
    • I am completely distracted all the time.
    • There is a technology “black cloud” above me.
    • I keep forgetting important tasks or appointments.
    • I wish I knew why I feel so strange.
    • Why is this so hard?

    … that’s the question that gets me every time…Why is this so hard? When I ask that question I get the little whisper in my ear that something is shifting. “Bryn, pay attention.”

    These thoughts precede a big transition or breakthrough each and every time like clockwork.

    However, you guessed it! When I am “in it,” I can’t see it at all. But what I do see and feel is that I am unsettled.

    So I focus on a few exercises that really help bring me closer to the decision that needs to be made-bring me closer to the clarity I need to move forward.

    To read about my exercises click here.

    Do It Myself Method: I take out a clean piece of paper and make a list of all the things I do in life and business that make me lose track of time. Activities that never feel like a burden. That make me feel alive. That bring me a sense of calm or peace. A list of activities that make me feel accomplished, strong, smart, or empowered. Or maybe it is just one aspect of an activity that just comes so easy and feels so fun! This is critical information.

    Here’s a sample of my list: Stationary stores, writing handwritten notes, walking around NYC without an agenda, singing country music completely uninhibited, organizing things and thoughts, office supplies, watching my cats (“the boys”) do just about anything, creating calendars/plans and really talking with someone-deep, focused conversation.

    Bring It to the Universe: I often take the list of things I love to the Universe. Or sometimes I bring the questions like-“Why am I so tired?” “Why is this so hard?” This does not need to be a religious or spiritual activity. It is for me but I know people who simply put themselves in the right peaceful environment to hear their own thoughts. The goal here is really to quiet your mind- the frustration and questioning-and wait for answers. They come. Where you believe they are coming from is so not important here. The critical step is to make the spinning and exhaustive worry stop.

    I take a walk in Central Park or sit in my big overstuffed bedroom chair and look at the Cathedral in my backyard. All the media is off in my house. I allow myself to fall asleep if that is what I need to do. Sometimes I set this intention before bed and ask for clarity when I am sleeping.

    Take It to My Tribe: Ask them. I ask that trusted small group of friends, colleagues, and supporters. Caution: This is not intended to be what I call a “polling activity”-running to everyone I know or sending out a mass email for feedback. I am at a critical decision point. I am on the edge of something fabulous-a remarkable shift. I’ll let a handful of people-my tribe-provide insights. What can they see in me that I just cannot see? I’m just too close! I describe what I’ve been feeling and experiencing-exhaustion, frustration, the nagging feeling that there is something I’m not seeing.

    Ask them directly: What is the big gap in my understanding? What can’t I see? What don’t I want to see? What is so obvious to everyone but me? Where is my brilliance? What talents or gifts do I not tap into? Where do I seem afraid? In what ways do I delight friends/clients/colleagues and not see the pattern? You get the idea.

    Ask for brutal honesty. Be vulnerable. (Maybe you can see now why polling is not such a good idea…) Breathe. In my experience, this is the most remarkable exchange of love. Regardless of whether I use one of these exercises or all three-the answers come because they were always here. Everything I need is already here. I just cannot see it until I am ready to see it. Ha. So silly. But true. It is a process of discovery. Layer upon layer. My life today-so extraordinarily different than it was just a year ago-even a few months ago-is an outcome of this process. I am so grateful and the clarity just keeps coming.

    I wish this for you as well.

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