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.

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.

Buy Low Sell High

Did that grab you once? Me too. I used to do that. It was great to watch trends, read the newspapers, keep myself tuned to the market, watch some companies come up through the ranks. See where the shifts were going on, who was looking at what and where were the new jobs going to come from. There were some faces to watch and names to pay attention to it felt exciting to be part of what was working.
Back then (hey! It wasn’t that long ago!) you could see trends, job sectors growing, products being made. Then outsourcing was something to complain about but most didn’t struggle against it because the clothes were cheap and the shoes still fit and who looked at labels when the price was right?
Do you know where the jobs are brewing? Yeah, I know where they went, but there is opportunity and some of it is in the near future and some of it is now. There’s a huge loss of traditional jobs and therefore a huge need for people to know what they are doing. Getting educated in the ways of business is available to anyone who seeks it. There is more transparency than ever and more help to be had for free and/or for very reasonable cost. No longer do we have to rely on those who went to business school to learn how to become marketers.
Entrepreneurs are what we all need to be whether we like it or not. The days of being supported in a life-long job are gone. The days of selling smart are here, and it’s not all buy high. The investment you make in yourself is where it’s at. You’re the expert you’ve always dreamed of and the time is great to find your way in the world of internet marketing.
When I bought stocks did I buy them all low? Mostly yes, and yes, I sold most of them high. Can I do that today? I can sure buy low. But the sell high part is a ways off. So, what to do in the meantime? There’s money to be made, business to be done, deals to be set. You can be part of the new gold rush, you can live your dream. Don’t let anyone take that away from you! Believe in yourself, be your own best friend, go to    and get the help you need to find your next opportunity.