• December 2, 2019

    How to Follow Your Passion

    How to Follow Your Passion “Go follow your passion!” Such a great phrase, but how do you know to do that? Passion is a powerful word! It’s inspiring. It’s unique to you. It’s fuel to keep us moving forward. It can also be dangerous if not thought through. We often hear “follow your passion” when someone is trying to inspire young people to live a life that is truly theirs. Other times we hear “follow your passion” when someone is at a crossroads in their life and are trying to figure out what to do. But do we know how to follow our passion? You see, “follow your passion” is not a one-size-fits-all opportunity for life. The reality is that if you don’t know how to follow your passion, it could do you more harm than good! Our passion can serve multiple purposes when identified and harnessed properly! Below are two of the most common … 1 :: Passion As A Revenue Generator Your passion could become a source of income. We see this happen to those who have developed a service or product that, through significant and daily effort, becomes a thriving business. My personal story led me to this place where my passion for driving people forward through reputation management, coaching, and consulting efforts – and a $hit-ton of hard work and perseverance! 😉 – has allowed me to replace my ‘corporate gig’ salary and “follow my passion.” This was not easy. This was not a, “I woke up one day and decided to follow my passion” type of experience. This took years of preparation. This took hours of work. This took significant commitment and a level of self belief in the value I could offer this world during my brief stay. So, how did I know to follow my passion as a revenue generator? Read what the three key elements are below … On the other side, your passion can deliver supplemental income – your side hustle. You don’t have to quite your 9-5 (or, maybe it’s more like 7A-10P for you?!) in order to bring your passion to life. Following your passion does not have to be an either, or decision. It can be and … read here for more insight on how to make these types of decisions. 2 :: Passion As An Impact Generator Other times, people find that their passions are about making an impact, not necessarily making money. They know or come to realize that their passion isn’t all about making money. Your passion could be about supporting an effort or movement in which you believe. I have a friend who builds orphanages in underdeveloped countries – his passion is helping these young people have a chance at life that was not available before. However, he realized that it was his high-paying corporate job that had allowed him to generate donations and access resources to help bring his passion to life. You see, he didn’t just quit his job to follow his passion and put himself and his family at risk. Many years ago, I came across this three-prong approach to discerning […]

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  • October 12, 2019

    Do People Know Your Intention?

    Do people know your intention? I read once that trust is comprised of two elements – character and competence.  Knowing the character of an individual will certainly determine if they are trustworthy.  Do they act with integrity or kindness? Just as well, it’s imperative to know that the person has the competence, the ability, to get the job done. That got me thinking about a third element that I don’t hear much about in leadership conversations.  How often do we focus on intention? I really believe this is one of the most fundamental elements of leadership and a building block for trust and reputation and yet, how often do we intentionally focus on intention (see what I did there?)? To be clear, I’m not speaking of being intentional in behavior or starting your day by setting your intentions – which are very important, by the way – rather, I’m speaking about your team, customers, or stakeholders knowing the true intention behind your actions. Are your intentions externally focused on your team’s mission, goals, values, and growth opportunities? Or, are they internally driven for your gain? If people don’t know your intention, it leaves them to wonder and in those spaces of speculation, trust, reputation, and results can diminish because rarely are people thinking of positive intentions.  Oh, you say that sounds so negative, Mike! According to a Harvard Business Review study, 58% of employees would trust a stranger over their boss! Think that’s a problem with intention? Jim Meehan, a British psychologist, once wrote that to gain trust with people you need to let them know two things: I mean you no harm I seek your greatest good As leaders, isn’t that our true goal with building trust, which then will lead to results? Stop leaving your intention to question! It’s a waste of everyone’s time and energy – two resources we never have enough of! So, how do you let people know your intention? It starts with how you show up and engage based upon your values.  Are you values grounded in your personal belief? The team’s mission? The company’s vision? If you are living into these values on a consistent basis, then people will know your intention by what they see.  Complement your actions by also verbally telling your team your intentions – for them, for the project, for the client. Transparency is a vital piece of trust and leadership.  If you are walking the walk, then being transparent won’t be an issue! Give it some thought.  How do you ensure people know your intention? To watch a video on this message, please visit my YouTube page here!

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  • September 11, 2019

    Remembering 18 Years Post 9/11 – Are We Living With Purpose?

    Remembering 18 Years Post 9/11 – Are We Living With Purpose?   6,570 days, 157,680 hours, 9,460,800 minutes = 18 years!   While we reflect on Sept. 11, 2001, I’m pulled towards thinking about how it seems like a blink of an eye – until I look at those numbers!   I think about how I felt and what I saw in the days and months after this tragedy. The emotions. The actions.   Gratitude. Kindness. Sacrifice. Service. Pride. Purpose.   Purpose lights up for me because something awoke in me in the days after 9/11. I was determined to live differently, work differently, connect differently – with intention and purpose!   Maybe you felt something similar?   Admittedly, that lasted all of 3 months before I was back into my old habits and lifestyle.   Now, 18 years later, (what???) I can’t believe how quickly the years have rolled by – again, until I look at those numbers!   As I think about the lives lost and the dreams snuffed out on that September morning, I also recognize the reality of our finite time on this earth.   I want to honor those legacies through my daily and intentional actions. Through gratitude. Through sacrifice. Through kindness. Through purpose.   Will you join me? Please click here to watch this message on my YouTube Channel!  

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  • August 25, 2019

    How to Break Out of the ‘Either, Or’ Decision Trap

    How to Break Out of the ‘Either, Or’ Decision Trap Have you ever gotten caught in the ‘Either, Or’ Trap when making a decision? I was recently talking with a friend who was trying to think through a career transition and was contemplating some pivots of things she could do.  The conversation cadence went something like this, “You know, I have a great opportunity with company x, so I could either move forward with them or pursue some speaking gigs.” “I also have interest from company y and have been asked to do some coaching and mentoring.  So, I could work with company y, or really dig into the coaching and mentoring.” It’s easy to fall into that ‘Either, Or’ trap when we are thinking through life and career options since it’s been a decision-making process we’ve been trained into for many years! Think back over your life when people would tell you that, “you can do either this, or you can do that.” Or, “you can be either this, or you can be that.” Make your choice! Yeah, I remember plenty of those throughout my life! But, does that have to be the case with our decisions? I encouraged my friend to think about her decisions through a different lens.  What if the answer you are looking for didn’t have to be ‘either, or’, but could be ‘and’? She said, “I never thought of it like that.  This completely flipped the way I can look at these decisions!” 3 Key Tips to Embrace Your AND: Look Around You: Observe others in your life who are creating multiple streams of impact.  You’ll probably notice that they have a passion for something, unique talents and skills, and there is a marketplace where people are willing to pay them for the work they are doing (we aren’t talking about you finding another hobby!).  Talk with them and learn how they went about building this multi-faceted life.  You can learn a lot from them as well as get inspired to really connect with your unique skills and talents! Capacity & Systems: Once you speak with these people, you’ll probably notice that they have identified how much they can do in each area (i.e. capacity).  It’s about understanding your capacity and having the right organizational systems in place to do great work. Start to outline the time you could allot to this work and the systems you would need to put into place. Scale & Patience: It would be foolish to believe that we could do everything 100% right out of the gates.  The reality is that we need to start methodically.  I would recommend devoting the majority of your time to the area of work that is generating and delivering significant and/or stable cashflow.  Then begin carving out time for your ‘and’ to begin working on your craft, product, or content.  As this begins to gain traction, you can use your systems (refer to point No. 2 above) to do more, create more, and scale up your work. This will take both patience and consistency! How would your life look if you used […]

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