This is a good day, how can I serve you?

Have you ever thought about the difference between caring for and serving? Well, in my experience, if I care for you, I don’t get much – respect, money, or acknowledgment. But if I serve you, I give you something of value and I get more for it. Including your looking me in the face.

You don’t get as much either if I take care of you, I may be a faceless servant doing a job. If I serve you, you probably asked for it; went to a site, signed up. Went to a school, filled out a form, maybe even paid money.

I take care of many beings. I have rescued dogs, cats and horses. If I see an animal on the road, I help it. And while I am not a nameless, faceless entity to them while I am cleaning litter, picking poops, mopping up grass and throw-up, I am not using much of my skill set either. In my service of the animals I am fulfilling my need to be useful – of service. It comes from my heart and that makes a valuable contribution to my idea of how I want to be in the world and how I view myself.

By doing this service I am forwarding my sense of good in the world, I am participating in a higher vibration than just myself. It is not a job.

If I have a job, when I go to it, when I participate in living and working amongst/with other people, I feel a brightness, I come to them with a full complement of participation. I am not needy.

If people are nice to me – or not – I have a sense of myself within myself and the world within myself. I have done important (to me) work and what I receive from the world is the icing, I have eaten my cake and I don’t have to choose whether to eat it or have it.

Branding – your message is your name.

Not your business name but the name people think of when they read your statement, your copy, your bio, your blog. The name they give you in their mind (nice person, want to know them – that kind of thing) the minute they see something you’ve put out into the world. Is it the logo you chose, the background of your Tweeter page? Is it the way you presented your ideas in Squidoo? Did you talk about yourself, what you like, trust, want and stop there? Did you include thoughts and facts about yourself in addition to trying on the needs and wants of others?

For me it’s the personable way you might explore yourself to me. A misspelling won’t turn me off too much but if there are too many txt’s and lites, I’m gone. I love dashes and I personally use too many parentheses – which I hope won’t be a problem for you, I know a little cuteness goes a long way! How you expose your life without too much information but enough to help me know I can trust (or not) your ideas, what thoughts come to you, how much we might share.

This last is crucial. What might we share? It’s a key in the deciding route we all take on the road to purchase. We are all looking for the Something that will make our next – career, baby quiet, dog lie down, smell go away, best cup of – there are no exceptions, we are going to contact someone for an issue we are dealing with. That Someone is going to fill our needs and make us feel good at the same time.

I’m a poet in one of my lives and when I send poems out for consideration I hope I have done my homework and looked at the magazine before I send and I hope the editor will actually look at my work before it’s sent back in the envelope provided. I was an editor once and I noticed that I wanted as much from the poet as they wanted from me. I had a problem to solve, an itch to scratch and I hoped that every piece of writing coming to my desk would be the one I’d be excited to read and want to publish.

There are no exceptions to this dance. We are all in the market for something. We all want to pay for some things and get some things free. We don’t want to pay for everything and we don’t want everything free.

This is a great time to be a small business in a big world. We are all looking for the niche where we will find comfort. The best places in my kids’ schools were the reading nooks where they could curl up and read or just look at books. They could be surrounded by comfort and get some cool information or a great story. Let your business be a nook, it’ll be on everyone’s list of things to do.

I love Seth Godin

I just got a new blog from Seth Godin. I love Seth Godin. There isn’t anything he says that’s not worth listening to, looking at, and really taking in. Every one is a “head’s up!”

This one was about College graduates. They are not finding jobs. According to Seth, only 20% are being hired. He spelled out a plan for the other 80%.

This is directly from him – and it’s worth repeating:

“How about a post-graduate year doing some combination of the following (not just one, how about all):
Spend twenty hours a week running a project for a non-profit.
Teach yourself Java, HTML, Flash, PHP and SQL. Not a little, but mastery.
Volunteer to coach or assistant coach a kids sports team.
Start, run and grow an online community.
Give a speech a week to local organizations.
Write a regular newsletter or blog about an industry you care about.
Learn a foreign language fluently.
Write three detailed business plans for projects in the industry you care about.
Self-publish a book.
Run a marathon.”

Seth Godin June 9, 2009

Does that sound like “make a Self to believe in?” It does to me. You know there was a time when that kind of learning was a part of growing up. Maybe you were fortunate and had a playroom. Maybe you and your friends and/or siblings made up plays, did projects, made costumes. A child’s world was full of challenges in groups with objects they made or made believe.

Maybe your opportunities didn’t include something so structured but maybe you didn’t know that it was so important. Whether your parents had money or not I bet you found it paid to be inventive, to put yourself out and you found out at least a little bit of who you are by bouncing around in a group not just awash in your daydreams or one on one games.

More than likely your parents participated, they watched you, clapped, gave you pointers. Maybe you hated it, maybe you loved the chance to be in front of your peers and your leaders. It almost doesn’t matter because no matter what, you were getting something out of it. I bet the put downs you may have felt look less harsh now than they did then. I bet if you had some of these experiences time has worn off the edges and what you’ve gotten into since has made them look smaller.

My teenagers are heavy with the weight of their studies, their friends, their social networks. They think this is the heavy time in their lives. They are sure they have more eyes on them, more commitments, more drama and tragedy than they ever will again. They feel experienced and unsettled yet they expect a steadiness to their lives that what they rail against most gives them. They feel the hang of their safety net but not the support of it.

And, as Walter Cronkhite used to say, “and that’s they way it is.” And ever was and no doubt ever will be. But that doesn’t absolve us as parents, as leaders, as friends and mentors of our responsibilities to show them how we feel, who we are and what is important to us and to the world we inhabit.

We need to look at that list, get a head’s up, see what we see, who we are, what is important to us and what do we want to do about it. Then let’s all of us take some of those tasks to heart. Do them well. Because if college graduates are not getting jobs, if they are at loose ends, they need us now more than ever.

When Do You Have Enough?

What do you really want?

If you don’t have a clear picture to answer the question “What do I really want?” you are not alone. We are bombarded with things to do, buy, play, and know. This is a complex time, this is always a complex time. There is nothing new – if you can take solace in that, or if you can’t. We are rarely not challenged by our lives.

Challenge leads to our meeting it (the challenge) or avoiding it. Our minds play a huge role because if you really tell yourself the truth, most stuff we spend time and money on doesn’t matter that much. Have you let something get by you – a game, a car, an attitude and then not missed it? When it comes to you over and over maybe that’s the time to give it a look. But most of us are pulled in the moment. We respond quickly. Isn’t that what our parents wanted? Quick responders. Isn’t that what we see in the movies? What we need in the Emergency Room – yes, there IS a time and a place for instant action. But most of us overplay our hands at “instant.”

Some questions to ponder; Do you put down your real goals in favor of what someone or something else wants? Is that what your “quickness” is about? Do you have enough time to take care of yourself or do you let that go? Do you have enough money to live the way you want or are you living someone else’s dream? Are you following your parents’ goals for you, living in a house they like, going to places they’ve been or want to go? Do you have enough love? Are you accepting what’s offered? Nothing wrong with that if you are pursuing your own goals. Do you have enough friends? Do you count all the people in your organizations as your friends but don’t have time (take time) to really connect with any one or three of them?

In my experience with my children, I find I want them to have certain experiences and not others. I don’t think I’m too unusual. I don’t want them to have any strife or struggle. No bad grades, unrequited love, bullying, or nasty falls. At the same time I pride myself on how I’ve handled occasions where challenges were met. I’d rather they didn’t express themselves with hair dye or piercings but I value my radical difference from my parents – and most of my peers even now.

This comes back to what we really want. Is there a way to know? Yes, of course there is, and it’s one of the areas in which we are most challenged. It’s focus. I should write “FOCUS.” It’s that big. That important. We do what we are focused on, we become what our focus brings us to. If we can say “birds of a feather flock together,” then you know how important it is to put yourself where you can be your best self. Where you can meet and exceed yourself, where you can start low and end up with loftier ideas and ideals. Are you more aware with whom your children hang out than you are for yourself? Do you challenge them and their attitudes to study, work, play. I doubt you think it’s cool when they hang out with friends who are driving aimlessly, drinking and drugging? Do you say, “sure, take the keys, go do nothing?”

Look in the mirror. What are you doing? What are you aware of? Where are you going?
Take a good look. Get your goals in sight. Write them down , talk about them to the loving supportive people around you. Be the winner you want your kids to hang with. Take the leap. One step at a time. One minute at a time. One turn at a time. Don’t get lost in the whole picture – be a GPS, take the turns to the next frame once you’ve set your ultimate goal.

This is what you fear most

There is no magic bullet to getting rich. Hard work will not get you there by itself. There are no tricks. People who are rich are just like you, only different.

When you decide to get rich, you have to; 1) change your attitude toward yourself and others, 2) have a vision, 3) keep hold of that vision, 4) define your goal(s), 5) identify your limiting beliefs, 6) listen to your true self – anytime a “should” comes in, you’re on the wrong track.

The reason you aren’t successful is often due to a tennis match between your negative and positive feelings about being rich and successful. This game can manifest as inertia, self-sabotage and procrastination.

Your body can be an antenna for what makes sense for you to pursue. A trained athlete may make a wrong play every now and again but we wouldn’t be watching if their moves were random and dominated by opposing influences.

But this is exactly what we do. We think we want (did I hear a should?) one path and then we hear another, advice, e-mail, the news, we have so many venues for information. Most of the choices you make don’t depend on “bad” and “good” to prove their veracity. The simplest move on your part requires the most faith in yourself. I’ll go back to the athlete analogy; what if Tiger Woods ( you choose a sport) had decided to try snowboarding and baseball, his mother wanted a soccer player, his uncle first draft on a baseball team. Would you have heard of him?

Look at yourself. How many things do you do? How many do you do well? How did you come to be doing most of the things you are doing? Did your family growing up have anything to do with it? Do you hold beliefs you don’t even know about? Do you have judgements you don’t know and can’t define?

Each judgement has started with your belief system. Each belief system starts before our comprehension kicks in so we become adults believing without reason or experience. We are swayed by others’ life experience, as were they.

Time to give it up. Be your own success story, kick the limiting beliefs. Stay tuned!

Are you Tweeting me or Am I tweeting you?

Seth Godin writes, “The presenter who loves his [sic] audience the most, wins.”

In the business of internet networking, in the daily communication of all of us with all of us, there is some confusion as to who is the presenter and who is the audience. When I tweet, am I tweeting you or me? If a tree falls in a forest with no one there is there a sound? Are we listening to each other? Do we have anything to say? Where is our focus? Is the goal of the market simply to perpetuate itself?

In the confusion of who is presenter and who is audience lies for each of us an opportunity. For business, for personal growth, probably for both. You really can’t have one without the other. Mindset is key, focus is key and the value we place on ourselves is the outstanding balance in the middle. I could say that the person who loves his or her audience is loved and respected in turn. If I love myself chances are that I will love you because there won’t be much of a commute between us. That’s where we get the value of all the communication strategies that are open to us. We can exchange and change in bits and bytes, in leaps and bounds.

Once upon a time it seemed to matter whether a tree fell and could be heard. With our communication portals it is almost certain someone somewhere will hear. What matters to us as entrepreneurs is that they care enough to keep going, to click, perchance to buy.

We are powerful when we take the communication possibilities offered and focus ourselves, our hearts, our truths to such a degree that we are presenters who love ourselves, our audience, our product and its persuasions to inspire the click. For us to be successful we have to inspire and delight. We need to create lightness in ourselves and each other. Is that why it seems so important to talk about every plane trip, every line we wait in every movie we see, song we hear. It’s shared experience, the trip of Life. We get to be with each other on every journey we choose to share. How cool is that? Lucky us. Let’s make it work, let’s give ourselves value. Believe in yourself, share your opportunities, make work together and play. And, don’t forget, breathe, always breathe.

And click on

Is it enough to have a great product?

Obviously not. Read the papers – actually, don’t read the papers – but even glancing at them, you will find that jobs are being lost rapidly, debt is skyrocketing and total revenue is declining. Oh, and if that isn’t enough, it hasn’t bottomed out yet.

Ok. Well, we’re sure set with that, aren’t we. I think I’ve heard every word that can be used to describe a “very bad situation” used over and over.

But, there is a counter trend. It’s real. It’s about mindset. It’s about entrepreneurship. It’s about attitude and breathing. Breathing – that’s a key word. No, not in Google. I doubt I’m going to get a lot of readers who have just Googled “breathe.” It would be better for us all if readers did that. If we all cared about our breath. How it comes to us, how it goes, what happens in between.

I’m not kidding. Money is like air. Just breathe. Relax, take a breath. Look around you, let what’s good come into your mind. Train your mind to respond to the positive. Train your body to feel the simple and good things that make up your life, your day, your dreams.

Yes, I mentioned dreams. You have to have a dream – a desire, a focus – for the dream to come true. Otherwise what are you focused on? What others are saying, doing, writing. Not good. Keep your dreams alive, act them out, live them. That’s your mindset you’re training. It’s the most important thing you have. Water it, weed it, nurture it, fertilize it. You’ll feel better. You’ll have to. You won’t have a choice. You’ll have to be happier.

And then, you have a better product. You’ll be the product. That’s the goal. When you are the product – and, don’t get me wrong, you are always the product – what you want will come to you when you click on

What Do You See?

We don’t see things as they are. We see things as we are.
Anais Nin

Make sure the outside of you is a good reflection of the inside of you because that will dictate how you are seen as well as how you see.

If you’re coming from a position of being unloving toward yourself, if you are not feeling physically well, if you struggle with your weight, your anger, your depression, you won’t be able to see very well. Opportunities will avoid you – you won’t be able to see them.

If you are not in tune with yourself mentally it will color your physical world. If you have a strong belief system expressing itself inside you, it will express on the outside too.

There are studies showing that mental states – and you may not know you have them – can change your body. One woman grew her breast size and shrank her stomach when she discovered she had many beliefs about those parts of her body and their meaning in her life.

She had grown up with the idea that having children would cause her belly to expand and her breasts to shrink. After having two children her mindset began to realize itself in her body. She also suffered from post-partum depression, and had a nervous breakdown.

In her case she learned EFT, which you should look into. It is an incredibly useful tool. Go on Gary Craig’s website and you can get a lot of free information on how to work it into your life.

There is a lot of information about how to conquer this and that on the web, how to dominate an aspect of a search engine, how to attract more leads and have people buy whatever it is you are selling but if you don’t take care of yourself, find out who you are and what makes you tick, eventually it will all come down on your head and you will be an empty bag of proficiency!
Whatever business you are in – or out of – whatever you might want to make or sell, from home or office, farm stand or flea market, e-Bay or Whatever List, you need to find yourself first, then your world will find you. And when it does, you’ll be ready.

Business opportunities abound; will you be able to see them when they’re in front of you?

Click on

Little Fish/Big Fish

I was listening to NPR the other Fri and heard a clip about the oceans being overfished. Ok I knew that. But it wasn’t just that. It was about the fishing of the Big Fish. Everyone goes after the big fish. So if big fish are being overfished what does that leave? Little fish. And little fish breed more little fish and more little fish choose each other as mates. So you have the evolution of the little fish.

Ok. So the science guy was saying that Darwinian selection is happening – by humans and the world of little fish is being made bigger.

So I extrapolated that to our current economic situation. The “big fish” are being taken out of the equation. Big companies are down sizing, ceo’s are loosing their jobs as well as the employees. It used to be if you worked for a big company you were fairly safe. But some of the oldest, biggest companies are going and lots are gone.

So what does that leave? Little companies, small business. This is a great time to be an entrepreneur. A great time to start your own business, make your own policy, be independent. This is the time of the little fish in the business world.

Be a little fish and be success. Low overhead, you work at your own pace, commute time is radically shortened ( more low
overhead),time with what you care about. Coaching kids, volunteering, building something in the shop you put in your garage or basement and then didn’t have the time to use it. Writing poetry for yourself, your kids, your grandchildren. Telling someone you love that you love them. It’s all easier when you’re physically closer to them and not on some freeway stuck in traffic and hating everyone and everything when you get home.

Be a little fish, see an opportunity – grab it! Be big yourself in yourself for yourself, let the big companies go.

Here’s An Opportunity

Research has shown that people tend to go along with the majority view, even if that view is incorrect. A study targeting neurons in the brain shows that when people hold an opinion differing from others in their immediate group, their brains produce an error signal. The “group” could be a jury, a classroom, a board meeting, any meeting, or a party. In other words, in any human gathering a person with a “different” idea or perception will feel “wrong” or “too different.”

This study that I just read about on CNN brings to mind how amazing it is when someone like Harvey Milk – the movie is a must see – consistently goes against the flow of opinion. We can thank Harvey, Martin Luther King whose birthday we celebrate, Barney Frank and all the thousands of people historic and among us who change our lives everyday because they are able to override their feelings of needing to be with the pack.

Those independent thinkers and doers among us who blow the whistle, who stop an act of aggression, who see a need and step in are our most valued citizens.

There are independent thinkers, entrepreneurs, some we know in our lives and some we read about. People who make a difference, who have a focus of adding to the good in the world, who override their need to be quiet when they see injustice make a lasting impression. You can do that anywhere. No job or task is too insignificant to be a platform for just action. We can all participate.

I got a video e-mail from Michelle Obama this week asking all of us to participate in volunteering next Monday, doing something of benefit to others. Today is Martin’s actual birthday, January 15, but we celebrate the holiday next Monday.

For me to know that president-elect Obama and Michelle will be reaching out and focusing on problems other than their own is a long-dreamed of hope to have such effective role models in leadership.

May the Force be with each one of us as we step into our lives, our roles, our hopes and dreams. We can all be role models, we can start by looking up to ourselves.