Awareness Of Why

Every day’s a great day to connect.

Today I’m giving a special thank you and WOO HOO!! cantwaittogettogetherwithyouinperson to Adam French today. Adam’s a connector.

He’s very aware of his why. He’s very aware of what it means to be going through life purposefully.

I’m impressed and inspired by Adam and I’m really grateful for him.

He’s helping me remember what my why is today.

Sometimes you wake up and think, “Is this what I should be doing, is that what I want to be doing, is this where I’m of the most service?”

Those are all really big questions – they are why questions, they are vision & purpose questions. Connectors like to be clear on them.

When I’m not clear, I got to the awareness of my Why.

So, thank you Adam for helping me continue to be aware of my why – to continue to examine it – to fine tune it and to serve better.

Tell me below who you’re really glad to be connected with.

p.s. if you dig podcasts, Adam’s got one – Applying Awareness

Q: How Do You Stay Connected?

A: Intentionally.

This week – hell, this year and last – has been a shipturner for me. I’ve been making a change from my previous prior focus to my current and foreseeable future focus, Connectivity.

How does one turn a ship, you may ask?

Well, as an impatient person, not fast enough for my speed! All the same, the ship must be turned if you do want to go another direction. I grabbed the ships steering wheel, aka the helm, and leaned into it.

Not in the Sheryl Sandberg way. In my own way: with wide-eyed curiosity – “If it’s connectivity, what exactly is it? What do I have to say, how will I communicate it, who and how will I serve?” Along with a about a zillion other questions and uncertainties, I dove in.

The only way to turn a ship is to turn it.

In the turning, I know that one key element is communicating the turn to those who are supporters, interlopers and otherwise either interested in my success or at least curious.

So the question becomes, how do I share what I’m up to with those who I wish to know?

Here’s how I chose to do so:

This week I blocked time, got my Rolodex, business card binder, computer and paper + pencil and started emailing people in the aforementioned categories. I first drafted what I wanted to say in a separate word doc. As a writer I like to be really clear on what I want to say – practicing, massaging and editing it until it’s good enough (though not seeking perfection – that’s a wasted errand). I read the intended email outloud to myself to help ensure it also sounds like me as I’ve learned that the people who know you or at least have heard you speak want to read you like you speak.

Did this effort matter? Was my time ‘worth it’?

In short, YES. Unequivocally.

The responses I’ve been getting have been encouraging and fun, interesting and helpful. Encouraging because they reinforce that people do in fact care about other people. Fun because I’m learning what others are up to (at least those who are responding). Interesting because it helps me stay current with them and keep learning about our world and what’s important to others. And helpful because the previously “what’s important to others” then is top of my mind, helping me better serve others.

It matters because sometimes being in business for yourself and spending a LOT of time alone can feel isolating. When I feel itchy to see if what I do matters, then I know reaching out to others – caring and actively engaging in people connections – then the return I get feeds my mission, drive, energy and helps me keep going.

I’ll be continuing some of the conversations and letting others go, depending on how they answered. People will help you decide what they want and what they don’t want. Less is more for email, to me, so I want to keep it sweet and succinct, still acknowledging them and letting them know I’m here for them.

As a business person, I can only expect support when people clearly understand what I do and how I serve too. So giving them the heads up is helpful, all around.

tools for connectivity

For those whose emails bounced, I used our friend right here, LinkedIn.

Below is what I wrote.

Note: I personalized all of them with name and often a specific personal comment or question relevant to them only. I want them to know it’s an intentional communique.

 “Good [appropriate day] [first name] –

Hope you’re well and February is off to a great start. What’s ahead of you for 2019 I can help support? Any big trips planned? Be fearless in asking when my help would be useful – you know I’m standing by.

Wanted to also check in and give an update from the HQ!

With my specialty of Connectivity & Connecting, speaking = primary service offered. It’s been incredibly invigorating to be focused on this concept, to help people lead better lives and have more gratifying careers due to knowing the specifics of truly connecting with other people.

Who I’m seeking to serve:

People and organizations who what to know the why & how of connecting with people on purpose, with the intent to serve others; people seeking skills to learn how to actually create and develop relationships – which fosters so many other things. Like leadership, growth, change and personal and business development.

When you’re seeking, as well as when you know of others who are seeking, to hire proficient professional speakers, I’d be grateful if you kept me in mind and forwarded my name.

As well, if you’ve been to impactful conferences and events where they bring in speakers, I’d love to know about them so I can investigate.

Conferences, team & sales meetings (connectivity is killer for sales!), pro development, keynotes…. Helping people be confident and comfortable, connecting with other people.

If you’re keen for more information, I’m glad to share – i.e. specific talk titles, previous clients. Travel’s always been part of my work, domestically and cross borders. I’ve a particular fondness for education institutions, hardware, retail and firefighting. For now, I’m building, so all suggestions, ideas and introductions are tremendously appreciated.

A lot more = my website & newsletter, LinkedIn page and YouTube channel. Plus my books can be found here.

Any good reading and authors you’d recommend I check out?

Would love to get an update of what you’re up to. Happy to help as I best can. Thanks for letting me share too.

Be well, stay in touch. Glad to be connected. Keep helping people the way you do ~

g”

Tell me below what you do to stay connected to people you care about and who care about you. What do you do to personally foster your connections?

Thanks for reading and sharing. Remember, it’s a great day to connect.

g

this post was also published on LinkedIn 021519

Connect With The Decision Maker

When you’re connecting with people whom you want to serve, one biggie to find out is this: Who’s the decision maker?

Allow me to expound.

Recently I was going back and forth, via phone calls & emails, with someone who expressed interest in a crazy free talk offer I put forth. (crazy free talk offer is on me here…)

The person inquiring had lots of good questions in the first conversation. We then proceeded to play ping pong, back and forth via email. Most times, there were more new questions. Fine.

Then, after about the 4th or 5th exchange, I reached my FIM.

So why am I sharing this?

The person I was talking with wasn’t the CDM, the Chief Decision Maker.

Oof…. No wonder I was feeling frustrated. It was my own fault! I’d neglected to realize or ask for direct access to the CDM.

That’s who I needed to be talking with; not an intermediary.

I needed to connect with the person [queue the movie music here] Who Makes the Final Decisions.

HUGE Aha! moment.

When you have to go through additional channels, when other people are involved where they perhaps shouldn’t be, then it slows things down, balls things up and frankly dissipates enthusiasm and protracts progress. Plus, think of the poor intermediary – running the timeconsumingerrands for the CDM.

You can quickly get lost in the miasma of unnecessary back and forth. And sometimes, like me, not even see it. It’s very disconnected. Not what anyone wants.

So, now that I recognize this valuable part of Connecting, I’ll still connect with all sorts of people, no matter what sway they hold, no matter their CDM status.

When it comes to qualifying who I can truly serve, however, I’ll really be honing in on who I should be talking with – who makes the decisions – versus who am I talking with already.

Connecting includes qualifying who has which conversations. Hope this helps you as much as it has helped me.

Resource: Here’s a helpful piece from Vistage on decision making

Connect With What’s Good For Your Soul

What’s makes you really happy?

What makes you happy?

Whatever that is helps you connect with life.

I’m out in this video on a glorious snow day – a rarity in Southern Oregon…

I declared today a snow day!

Because I love it, it does a tun for my soul and it’s important to me.

What’s really good for your soul?

What do you declare a special day, and say: “This is for me, and I’m gonna reconnect with what makes me happy.”

Because that helps me better serve and connect with everybody else.

  • Tell me what’s good for your soul.
  • Tell me what kind of special day or afternoon you’ll take for yourself.

Stay connected with what makes you happy, because happy people serve better.

Don’t Kill Your Days Connecting

Okay, so the title above may seem counter to my message of connectivity.

It’s actually congruous.

Here’s what I mean.

1. Whole days can disappear in efforts to connect with other people. Phone calls, meetings, LinkedIn, Zoom, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram….

2. Determine your WHY and your focus first: What is it you’re setting out to do in this world? How do you want to make a difference? How do you want to serve?

3. Once you know your Why, tighten your focus.

4. Cancel appointments that don’t fit toward your goal, bow out of boards and assignments that no longer fit. Do so with diplomacy, respect and grace. I routinely review my schedule, every Sunday

True for every age and every stage of life…

morning, to see what’s ahead – what fits, what doesn’t – any make changes accordingly.

5. Take a clear-light-of-day look at what matters to you and making real headway in your business. What are the connecting activities that fit? Do those things that get you there. Ditch the rest.

6. Examine the relationships you already have. Which ones help you move toward excellence, which ones offer full support, and which ones will help keep you moving forward with focus? Keep those. Purge those that keep you back, the ones you may feel a sense of obligation to yet still hold you back (whether it’s you holding or them), stop any toxic and negative relations.  It’s a waste of precious time and energy to ‘try’ to change someone; put that energy into yourself instead.

7. Wisely choose new and existing relationships that will be fully supportive, helpful, engaging, positively push you forward, help you grow. These kinds of relationships are almost always the ones that are mutually enjoyed and meaningful, by the way. Be fully willing to give to those who give to you, when they are the right people.

8. Be willing to have sticky conversations, as I call them, with people who may have a strong tie. Be ready to share your thoughts and needs with them, be honest, calm and respectful in the doing. If they can appreciate your position, they may choose to change and stick around. If not, bid them a respectful farewell and keep going in your own direction.

As Kim Jordan once sagely told me, “Life is short. It’s up to me to make it sweet.”

By the way, this is something I constantly have to work on to discipline myself to focus.

I understand how hard it can feel. The actual practice of clarity is easier said than done.

What’s harder for me is to not succeed. And I want to help you avoid unfruitful connections as well.

To waste my days and hours of life I’ll never get back, that I squandered instead of utilizing to move me forward is an avoidable tragedy. It’s totally in our control to decide which relationships we want and which ones we don’t.

Is it all easy?

Not necessarily. Sometimes it’s downright sticky with certain relationships. Yet it gets smoother and you get better at it.

All the same, ask yourself: what’s my sanity, quality of life and clearmindedness worth? As Mastercard would say, it’s priceless. I’d concur.

Focus on your Why. Adjust and adapt. Discipline = practice = focus = excellence.

It’s your choice.