Marriages and Money Made In Heaven

There’s Craig and Jim of Craig’s List.

Sergey and Larry of Google.

And Bill and Paul of Microsoft.

 

Marriages made in heaven that have yielded remarkable results.  I have been thinking about it and how with certain people meetings sparkle – and others are flat.  Finding your tribe and the people you want to play with in business can be as important as picking a mate in life.  It is the equivalent of driving a car on the right octane fuel.  The car will go on most of them, but more or less optimized.

 

I had a breakfast meeting this morning with an utterly brilliant person.  He was a ponderer to my activator.  I would say he definitely belongs to my tribe, one I have collected that exists world over.  Conversation was easy and expansive.  Meetings like these leave me with a feeling that any project is doable.

 

So what to look for when you seek your tribe?

 

People that share your values – that is a given.

Look for people with complimentary characteristics.

If you are a person that springs to action, pick a strategist.

If you are energized, find a calming counter body.

If you are a visionary, partner with a pragmatist.

 

Go design your team, your tribe in your own ayurvedic way to achieve a perfect balance.  As we can’t be all things to all people, surrounding yourself with a team that collectively make up for what you lack, is one of the smartest things you can do.

 

Are you partnered with people just like yourself?  Or with your perfect counter balance?  What characteristics complement yours? I’d like to hear your thoughts.

 

Love,

Jo

 

 

 

Jung’s Get Rich Quick Scheme

Jung said that criticism has the power to do good when there is something that must be destroyed, dissolved or reduced, but it is capable only of harm when there is something to be built.  My take on that is that mavericks building empires spent very little time tearing themselves down and instead kept their focus on making money and building their brand.

 

At a recent speaking engagement I did, I was asked to throw my hat in the ring to be a speaker at TED, San Antonio, and a video clip of a previous talk was requested.  I went on a search for something to submit.  I thought about what Jung had said when I reviewed some coaching clips I had done for BusinessWeek online, and I thought, “yuck, I sucked”.  I even drove this point home for myself by viewing some of my colleague’s videos as well and comparing them as so much better.  You get the picture.

 

Now, while I am sitting there, judging myself harshly, I didn’t for a second acknowledge that I in fact were looking for clips because I was suggested as someone to speak on TED X.  Or that the recent impromptu interview I did for the camera at a charity dinner got a lot of attention.  Or that over a thousand of you now have read and some generously commented on this blog.

 

How about a big cup of shut-up-mind to all the self-criticism??  Who cares if my growth as a speaker is in public view?  Who is counting anyway?  Except me – so busy keeping a polished front up.  So whatever.  Let it all hang out.  Focus on what is working.

 

Talk to me.

 

Love always,

Jo

I Have A Thing For My Doctor

I went for my first check up yesterday, one week after the fall and break of my arm.

 

Doctor Bustamante slapped the X-rays on the light box and exclaimed that if all his patients looked like me, he’d be a very happy man.  It is perfect, he said, perfect.  You will heal 100%.  But, he continued, I am only as good a surgeon as I have good a patient.  I am simply a guide towards healing.  You do the work.  Without you, I am nothing.  And I thought – wow.  He is a philosopher orthopedist.  He completely gets it.  He is like Coach Doc!  I could have used those very same words in regards to my own clients.  I just tip them where I see a good tipping point in the direction of their dreams.

 

He went on to talk about the surgeries he has learnt that he likes to do, and those he doesn’t.  Dr. Bustamante likes fixing knees, shoulders, arms like mine.   He sent his wife to his colleague for her bunion surgery.  I haven’t done bunions in 10 years, he said.  I could, but I don’t want to do it.  Again, I was blown away by this man’s self-knowledge and what he was willing to acknowledge about who he was.  I walked out of my appointment grateful for his skill but also the contribution of his own thinking.

 

I too have started to learn and acknowledge what I am and what I am not.

My friends call me Tinkerbell and that sums it up.  They tell me I fly in, spread fairy dust, and fly off.  What that means, practically speaking, is that I your greatest hired gum.  I am not an empire builder.  I will carry through a project to brilliant completion.  I will never earn a gold watch in a company.

 

One way to tell who you are and who you are not is to confront the question of what you are willing to pay the price for.  This does not mean that you are giving up on “being all that you can be” – rather that you are being what you are meant to be.  Which is yourself, in all your spending glory, and so uniquely that, that nothing can compare.

 

I promise you, hand on my heart, that you get way more leverage doing shoulders and knees if bunions aren’t your thing.

 

Is there anywhere you are going against your own grain in the name of growth…?

Are there places where you have strayed from your true nature because of what you think you ought to do…?

 

Let me know.

 

Love you,

Jo

 

 

Broke My Left Arm On Friday And What I Learnt From It

I broke my left arm on Friday.  I had just come back from picking up Sami from school and started to prepare lunch.  Up on a stool and into a cupboard above the fridge to get some apple cider, I was on my way down and my knee got caught in my skirt.  I couldn’t get my foot down on the floor, fell, and broke my fall with my hand. And thus broke my arm.

 

My previous plan had been to write a blog called “Let Go.  Move On”, building on another post I had written (you commenters remember) about always moving forward.  I might still weave some of those thoughts in, since some of them seem appropriate right now!

 

The minute I looked at my arm that my hand was dangling off of, I thought, “I just broke that.”  Clean break all the way through.  The next thought and each deliberate thought after that was to deal – and deal beautifully.  I was alone with Sami, so I had to act quickly in case I’d faint.  I grabbed a salad bowl, filled it with ice with my well hand and thrust my left arm in there.  With the right hand I called 911 and fed Sami snack.  Next, I aligned sitters and luckily for me, neighbors seeing the ambulance started pouring in, so I asked them for what I needed in a bag for a hospital stay.  I didn’t feel much pain, but I knew I had to manage shock.

 

The rest is procedural.  Got to the hospital, got evaluated, spent the night, had surgery, spent last night – and now here I am, about to get discharged.

 

What I want to leave you with is my thought process through all of this.  I told myself, someone who has to manage my own drama often – that there will be no drama around this.  I will deal and I will be great.  So I proceeded to joke with the EMS guys, doctors and nurses, gave reports to near ones about the facts of what was happening (no drama!).  And when I felt apprehensive before the surgery, I reached out  to friends and one came to sit with me to reassure me beforehand.

 

I was amazed at the aftermath one decision to be great yields.

How so much of what we experience in life has to do with attitude.

I forever honor you or anyone who makes that decision every day of your life.

 

Written with both hands (=the beginning of physical therapy) and with love always,

 

Jo

 

 

 

 

Admin Will Never Make You Rich

When I start my day’s tasks, I veer towards admin.

“Let me just get this bill out of the way.”

Or

“Let me put that call into the energy company.”

 

Let me dot some I’s and cross some T’s in other words.

 

It is safe.

It is measurable.

It is comfortable.

 

Now.

 

Admin will never make you rich.

At best, it will make you an overpaid administrator.

 

Instead…

Start with what matters the most.

Client contacts.

Follow ups.

Double backing and saying “hi” to people you haven’t talked to in a long time.

Thinking deeply about how to scale your business.

Thinking equally deeply about what in your business you do the best.  Focus on that.  Scale that.  There’s your biggest leverage.

 

That’s for the pure business advice.

In terms of your personal evolution –

When you go to sort paper clips, be highly suspicious that you are avoiding something else.  A challenge, something new, something scary.

Tackling that will make you feel good and proud.

 

So….

 

  • Start with what matters the most.
  • Investigate any resistance or avoidance.
  • Go do it anyway.

 

 

Comments?  Questions?  I am all ears.

 

Love always,

 

Jo

 

Paradoxi and Dichotomies…

There is so much advice to be had in the world.

Good advice and bad advice but if that was all there was to it, life wouldn’t be and feel so complex.  If life wasn’t so deep and multi-faceted, and after some reflection, you could probably fairly easily distinguish which advice is the true one for you in that moment.  But what about when two contradictory pieces of advice seem equally true.

 

We are supposed to be compassionate, but shouldn’t be pushovers.

We need to be understanding of others, but we know we need to take a stand for ourselves and our own beliefs.

We are supposed to be in charge, but also live and let live.

Live and learn.  But design your life.

Be a great listener.  Speak up.

Don’t be a glutton.  Enjoy what life has to offer.

Clean up after yourself.  Don’t waste your time on household chore s– take on bigger things and hire a maid.

Life is short.  Time is all you have.

Don’t take on too much.  Don’t play small.

Stand by your man.  Be a liberated woman.

Be sensitive.  Be a man.

 

How to navigate all of these pieces without losing your mind?

To not get lost amongst it all, I wonder if we shouldn’t look at the word “should”.  Anywhere we are “shoulding it” might be the piece to let go of.

One dictionary definition of the word “should” refers to conditionality.

And that is exactly how it feels.  There is this thing you “should” do, or else…

(something quite undesirable happens).

 

This is not to say that we should (!) live to avoid all responsibility or anything that remotely could be painful.  Rather that we make the choice of what we do with both our hearts and our minds, as a “should” seems to be mostly a decision of the mind.

 

I am reading a book where the emotional mind is likened to an elephant and the rational mind its rider.  The rational mind sets the path and the direction while the emotional mind provides the energy to move them both forward.  However, if the emotional mind refuses to do something, it simply casts the rider off.  Conversely, if the rider ignores the needs of the elephant, the path ahead will be a very dry and lifeless one.

 

See if you can balance the two.

And stay out of the “should” forest.

 

Write back and let me know your thoughts.

 

Love,

Jo

 

 

 

 

 

Are You Same or Are You Different?

Everyone is searching for happiness.

This way, we are all the same.

Whether you believed the world was ending on May 21st or not.

“Sama sama” it is called in Sanskrit.  Same same.

It is certainly a better vantage point than, we’re different.

One dictionary definition of the word “different” is “incompatible”.

Others are “other” and “separate”.

I sometimes, if not often, decide that I am separate.  That no one understands me and, that no one will ever fully understand me – and “boohoo” and so on and so forth.  When I go there and land myself in the “different” camp, I am miserable.  I am different, they are different, and the twine shall never meet.  And that just feels hopeless.  It is exhausting to keep voting for how someone else is different or not, or if they are for us or against us-  “don’t forget to look over your shoulder…!”…

If I get intimidated by someone, someone that seems more knowledgeable, more powerful, more “elder” than myself, I picture that person in diapers.  Remembering that they too have been a baby and that they too always just wanted to be loved and cared for.  That usually sets me free again to be myself.

Here are some tips when you feel different or alone.  When you are experiencing loneliness, separation or conflict with another:

  • Look for how you are the same; you both have a mother, you both want happiness and prosperity, you both love your children or siblings.
  • Be the one “going first” and see if the other person will lobby back a clue to another similarity – that commonly happens…
  • Remember that they too were once in diapers and cried for their mommy (and maybe still do sometimes!)

Keep going for similarities.  Let’s not be distracted by other people’s different qualities or personalities.  We are playing on the same side of the playing field.  We all want to score the same goal of happiness.

Don’t forget to write your comments with feedback, or to tell on yourself, whatever you please.  I love it all.

Jo

….A different kind of love…

This post is about love.  The different kind.  I read something that struck a deep chord with me today.  About love.  That constancy is its very nature, with no dips.  It doesn’t fade because its source is ever new.

I spoke to a few dear friends and family today; Patricia, Kenny, Lars…And the love bond that is there gets sparked every time we speak, so it is ever new.

We have trouble understanding this because we don’t go deep enough on the subject of love in our every day lives.  We mistake romance for it, a rush and a thrill.  At least we expect to experience some sort of high.  I believe true love is as constant as one of your limbs.  Deep love even includes the bumps and bruises and disappointments you experience inside of feeling love towards something or someone.  Love doesn’t die because of these adversities.  In fact, when you get hurt by someone you love, it only shows you how deep your love runs.

So I got inspired by this myself today:

In your ordinary life, learn to love.  If it contains any demands, it is just a commercial exchange…

Without love – we are nothing.

What About Shameless Self Promotion…

What about shameless self-promotion when you are looking for work?

I have been grappling with the balance of just doing what I love and simply letting that love spread – and the concept of what I call shameless self-promotion.  And I have come to that there is a balance to strike.

I really have a strong dislike for shameless self-promotion.

I really do.

I think it is preposterous, boastful and lacking a humility that I value.

Hearing someone say, “I am so great” gets me going (and not in a good way).  I get uncharacteristically feisty and in-your-face and want to ask, “Why?  Why are you so great?  Great, like, better than anyone else??”

I don’t like when I am being that way.

So I went to look at the discord I was experiencing.

What am I taking issue with and what is my truth about it?

It starts with that as a Swede, I was raised to keep it down, not boast, not to stick out, to be a part of the communal whole, instead of striking out as an individual.  Out of that, for as much as I speak, I can get both shy, quiet and self conscious in different situations where I feel like I would have to raise my voice to get heard.  Most every self-promotion inside of that cultural context seems shameless!

My second point is this:

Don’t we all feel like people should “just get” how great we are?

Why should I even have to say it?

Which is just bratty on my part and arrogant to the other extreme.

Buddha is my boy in many ways and on this topic he had it right – that there is a Middle Way.  The balance to strike as I see it is:

  • Love your work and do it well.
  • Talk about the work you do because you naturally talk about things you love.  When we are in love with someone, we simply can’t stop jabbering away about that person.  It is the same with the work you’ve given yourself too.  That is your self-promotion and you neither have to use sharpened elbows nor be shameless about it.
  • Circle back to “Go” and dip inside again, to find what the next piece of knowledge you have will truly make a difference for yourself and others.  The one which you want to impart and give the world next.

This process takes me out of my dislike of promoting myself.

I am just talking.

And I am just talking about what I love.

And if someone wants some of it, I am happy to share it.

Does this help?

Does this help you entrepreneurs who are setting out to do something new?

Or you mothers who are about to join the work force again after raising your children?

Or those of you who got laid off and looking for what’s next?

Let me know.  Talk to me.

Love,

Jo

Move your body – change your mind

…so I was thinking about what to write you and although I have had this insight before, it came over me again!  Which is that I can’t inspire if I am not inspired myself.  So I went to do some inspirational reading and remembered a nugget from Danforth’s old classic “I Dare You!”  (that I have to recommend with the caveat that it is dated and at times hokey as it was written in the 30’s) but this was what has stuck with me this morning and that I wanted to share with you…

When Mr. Danforth interviewed people for positions in his company, he would give them a physical fitness test.  Because he knew that the demanding work there would require actual physical strength and it would keep their minds clear.  Lawrence Olivier, the great actor, said the same when asked what the most important feature of a budding actor was.  Was it talent?  Mr.  Olivier said, no, it was stamina.  They had to last through a 16 hour shoot (perhaps, like him, in the desert!).

My inspiration is – if you are battling the quagmire of your mind and anything that is spooking it from what you are dealing with in your life…get up and move your body.

Surf (if you are in that part of the country/world where you can do that), work out, take a dance or yoga class, go for a hike.  Anything to shake up your low energy level/vibration.  (My favorite in New York City is Patricia Moreno’s IntenSati.) 

A recent and wonderful house guest left behind a gift card for our local Blue Star bike shop, adjacent to the downtown Brewery that hang the bike shop’s custom made bikes in the ceiling for sale (love that).

Consequently, Z and I hopped on bikes with Sami in tow, and explored the famous San Antonio mission trail or and biked the southern extension of the River Walk and the San Antonio river.  It is all being landscaped and prettied up all the way from Southtown where we live (think SoHo in NYC as an equivalent but with more TexMex hangs) up to the northern part of town.

 That is it.

That is all I got.

Can’t get out of your mind?

Get up and move.

Love always,

Jo