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Friday, February 27, 2015

The Difference Between Truth and Truthiness


Truthiness : the quality of preferring concepts or facts one wishes to be true, rather than concepts or facts known to be true. (Definition from the American Dialect Society)


Truth
 Truthiness
Based on fact
 Based on wishes
Clean and easy
 Long paper trail
Leads to trust
 Leads to suspicion and investigation
Easy to remember
 Difficult to keep track of
Long term sustainability
 Leads to pain 


If the choice isn’t clear, truth wins over truthiness every time.  
I recently made the acquaintance of a business professional who made a bunch of claims and promises yet when, through Facebook of all places, I encountered some of our mutual contacts it was found out that this gentleman fed me a bunch of half truths. And I can no longer use him as a business referral. 


If doing the right thing isn’t enough, then know that any lie or half truth will be found out much faster in our current digital age. Twitter, LinkedIn, email, blogs, and Skype have made our world increasingly smaller and upped the ante for us to consistently be tellers and seekers of truth. Truthiness is that shortcut that leads to a cliff. Facts, research, integrity, and truth are tried and true means of transportation. 

Thursday, February 19, 2015

“If I Could Just…” The Four Words of Self-Defeat



Recently I spoke with a dear friend about her business and she was practically distraught with the direction it was going. I asked her what she wanted out of her business (besides money) and what kind of imprint she wanted to leave on the world. She named three specific things that she wanted from her business but her voice took a defeated tone halfway through each because she made each of her wants sound impossible by inserting the phrase “if I could just...”
  • I would have ten frozen yogurt trucks with healthy toppings if I could just get a permit to have them in school zones.
  • I would educate the general public on the health differences between frozen yogurt and ice cream  if I could just get my Master’s in Public Health because no one will take me seriously otherwise.
  • I would gather investors for my soft serve frozen yogurt pop up shop if I could just have enough time in the day to go to business school and write a proposal.  
Is she making excuses or does she have legitimate concerns?

Maybe a little of both but let’s break down the word “just” for a minute. 

JUST: In this case of “if I could just...” is being used as a conjunction meaning: “Except that;” “but for the fact that” 

And for or a little more clarity what is a conjunction?

CONJUNCTION: A noun meaning:The act of joining or the condition of being joined; or An instance of two or more events or things occurring at the same point in time or space

By adding the word “just,” my friend was saying that the condition of what comes before the word “just,” is absolutely and infinitely tied to what comes after it. But the world is rarely made up of absolutes. Has she tried to get a permit from the city to have her trucks in school zones? Not yet.
Has she applied to an M.P.H. program yet (or found out that one doesn’t have to be an expert by going to school)? Not yet.
Has she even bothered to Google “successful business proposals,” or looked at small business assistance programs like WIBO.org? Not yet.

The impossible is only impossible because of the language we choose to use surrounding our goals and challenges. And language is a manifestation of the garden or weed patch we allow to grow inside our brains. “If I could just,” in my friend’s case and in most cases are excuses that prevent us from dealing with issues of research, execution, and thorough self-examination.

What would you do if you could “just” ____?

-Apologize to your best friend?
-Find a cure for ___ disease?
-Coordinate a fundraiser/benefit for ___ charity?
-Start a movement?
-Have a meaningful relationship?

Please beware that “Just” has a few bastard cousins called synonyms who make tons of excuses and their names are: “Merely,” “Simply,” and “Only.” These deadbeats don’t challenge you as a person and are afraid of commitment and you need to kick them to the curb. 

Start taking out “I will,” “I’ll research it,” “I’ll work on it,” and “I’ll schedule it,” on dates and you’ll be happy with their fidelity, how well they treat you, their level of commitment, and how much they help you grow as a person. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

How Successful People Talk

I will instead of I want to

I’m doing instead of I should

I’ll make a plan instead of I’ll try 

I’ll be there instead of I might make it

I’ll do it instead of I’ll try my best

I can instead of I can’t

I’m able instead of I wasn’t born with the same advantages as the other guys

I need to instead of I’d like to 


I am instead of if or when

The right hand side is cold and ambiguous and too general. You’re an artist and generality is the enemy of all art. Implement the phrasing on the left and you’ll be taking a stand, and doing something, and creating something.

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Transformation Through the Power of Leadership


Who are the people who:
  • Stand out from the crowd (In a positive way)? 
  • Achieve career advancement at work (Promotions, raises, recognition)?
  • Find ways to consistently grow their business?
  • Get re-hired
  • Are frequently asked to write, speak, or teach at major events?

Give up? The answer: Leaders

Leadership has been defined as a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task. Not a bad idea right? 
Want to make more money, raise more money, gain a little prestige, get hired—all it takes is a little leadership. 
Great...but how do I develop myself as a leader? I’m an introvert and overlooked and don’t have any letters after my name...
Don’t you worry about any of that stuff. 

Adopt new technologies:
  • The first few people on the new frontier get all the spoils (and get to share them with their friends). 
  • Find new ways to become more efficient in your work and share your methods with your coworkers, colleagues, or friends. 
  • Read up on the latest cutting edge technologies, learn to use those technologies, and once the masses begin to utilize them; you’ll be able to start sharing or even selling your “expert” knowledge in this field. 
ABH
  • You’ve heard “Always Be Selling,” but I’d like to expand and say “Always Be Helping.” Your empathy and humanity should be a selling point, or part of the equation to help find a solution to someone’s problem. If there’s a point where you decide to create a product or business and derive an income from it; you’ll have already gained a reputation as a likable and trustworthy person and your audience will have an easier time deciding whether to buy from you. This process also works if you want a promotion or raise from your boss, and if you’re an actor looking to get called in regularly by that up and coming casting director.
Create: 
  • Create a product, a piece of art, or an experience.
  • If you’re creating you’re not sitting around waiting. You’re looking to improve your skills within your field and you’re looking to have a better relationship with your target market. You’re grabbing the bull by the horns. Product creation is as big a deal for intra-praneurs (entrepreneurs working as employees within a corporation they don’t own) as it is for business owners or entrepreneurs. 
  • If you’re creating art, you’re not waiting for your agent or Steven Spielberg to call. Learn to make something and learn to sell it. Other people within the arts want to do the same thing (so they don’t have to work in a restaurant to afford their health insurance) and if they know you’ve succeeded in what they want; they might hire you to give them the answer or start telling other people about you and how great you are.
  • Creating an experience is something just about anyone can do. If your office is full of people who don’t get along you can be the one who bucks the trend. You can make a conscious effort to create a wonderful customer service experience for your clients. Treat them with respect. Return their calls promptly. Ask them about themselves and how they’re benefiting from using your product or services. Thank them for their business.
Put Your Ego in Check
  • Good leaders know when it’s time to rally the troops and when it’s time let someone else take command. Sometimes a good leader recognizes someone else’s burgeoning leadership skills, allows them to take charge, and takes on a the role of sidekick. Leadership means you let yourself learn from other people—this could be your adversary, the janitor, or your childhood idol.

If you’re tired of being stuck in neutral or tired of hearing the word “no,” then it’s time to put in some personal development hours to become a more effective leader. Once you decide to take action, the change is not going to happen overnight. You water the seeds of leadership in your garden every day, nurture them, and give them the time they need to grow. Do this and one day soon your seeds will turn into juicy and delicious fruit that will be absolutely irresistible to the masses.