Archive for December 2011

“Don’t believe everything you think!”

December 9, 2011

I saw this motto on the back of a car today, and I loved it!  In yesterday’s webinar, “Looking back…planning ahead,” we talked about getting trapped by what we “think we know.”  Our pre-conceived notions keep us from exploring options.  They keep us from entertaining new ideas.  They keep us down.

I used to look at history and wonder how people could have believed the things they used to believe:  the world is flat, the sun revolves around the earth, people who are sick are possessed by demons.  But, then I realize that today, there are things that we “think we know” that are being proven incorrect as we speak.  “Facts” aren’t even sure things, much less abstract ideas that we believe are true.  Pluto was a planet when I was in grammar school.  That was a fact. Now it isn’t a planet–that’s the new fact.

Things are always changing…if we let them.  Be careful not to get stuck in thoughts that hold you back.  As the old saying said, “whether you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re right!”

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Predictions for 2012

December 2, 2011

As we near the end of 2011, we’ll see more and more predictions about what will happen in 2012.  This is a big year!  The Mayans even talked about it, or so they say.

I’ve got to tell you, I don’t fret much about predictions from the Mayans, Nostradamus, the Bible or anything else.  I figure if they are accurate, there’s not a lot I can do about them, and if they aren’t accurate, then I’d be wasting time worrying about them.  Either way, que sera sera, eh?

Here’s another take on predictions you might want to consider.  As we get close to 2012, make some predictions about yourself.  These, after all, will likely be the only predictions you can make come true.  Here are some prediction categories for you to consider:

1.  I predict that I will learn more about “subject x.”   Is there a subject you need to study, or perhaps one you’d just like to study?  Predict that you will, and then go about making that prediction come true.  Buy a book, find a credible website, register for a class, or seek out someone who is an expert on the subject.  Start learning!

2.  I predict that I will improve a skill in X area.  It seems that we get to certain points in our career when we stop focusing on skills, and we focus more on knowledge and ideas.  That’s not entirely bad, but we could be more efficient and effective if we enhanced some of our existing skills.  Maybe there’s a software program we need to master.  Or, we need to develop better presentation skills.  What is a skill in your life that needs a little work?  Predict success, and then make it happen.

3.  I predict that I will inspire someone to be their best.  Wherever you are in your career, there are others who can learn from you and who can be inspired by you.  You don’t have to be the most senior person to mentor someone else.  Think about things you’ve learned that you wish you’d known sooner.  Those are just a few of the things you could help someone else learn.  You don’t have to look for an official program to become someone’s mentor or inspiration.  Just put yourself out there.  Let others know you’re willing to help them on their professional journey.  You’ll end up being the one inspired.

4.  I predict that I will expand my sphere of influence in 2012.  Networking is the name of the game in business, and most of us don’t do enough of it.  Make a commitment to connect with some new people in your field and/or business community.  Get to know others who can be resources for you and your clients.  Offer yourself as a resource that can help your new-found acquaintances.  The relationships will make you more successful as you help others succeed.

Whatever you decide to predict, you have control over making it happen.  Sure, luck sometimes plays a part in what happens to us, but purpose and commitment play a much greater role.

So, here’s my prediction:  I predict that 2012 will be a great year for me — because I’m going to make it so!

(Need a kick-start on your 2012 plan?  Register for our December 8th webinar, “Looking back, planning ahead” at www.altmaninitiative.com/webinars .  Only $35 to attend!)

So, how’s she doing?

December 2, 2011

My father always told me that it was the little things that set people apart–that extra 10% of effort that separated the good from the great.  Again and again, I see that he was right.  Here’s this week’s observation of that point.

My dog, Miss Priss, got hurt last week and had to go to the vet for stitches on Saturday.  They got her right in and took care of the issue quickly.  They sent us home with good instructions on wound care and antibiotics.  They said they’d see us in 10 to 14 days to remove the stitches.  I was pleased with the service.

Then, two days later, I got a phone call–from the vet herself.  “Just calling to see how Miss Priss is doing,” she said.  We had a brief conversation and hung up.  THAT was the extra 10%.  Now, I’m not just satisfied, I’m a FAN of East Lincoln Animal Hospital!

We expect our vendors and service providers to do a good job — otherwise, we wouldn’t use them.  But, it’s really nice when they do more than that.  The old, corny saying is true:  “People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care.” 

How do you show your customers that you care?  Do you take time to provide that extra 10%?  The payoff is well worth the effort!