Aliveatwork's Blog

An Opportunity of a Lifetime

Webster defines op•por•tu•ni•ty as:

1. an appropriate or favorable time or occasion:
2. a situation or condition favorable for attainment of a goal.

So what might be stopping you from taking advantage of a favorable time or occasion?

Maybe you’ve heard this before …

I would … if it were only the right time.

I would if the economy, situation, recovery, timing, circumstances, or situation were … right!

When I reflect back on some of the greatest opportunities in my life,  it always seemed like at the time, it was never the perfect time to take action.

February 8, 2000. I am sitting on a beach with my mentor overlooking the Sea of Cortez, it’s a turning point in my life.

I want to be a professional speaker and yet I am afraid of unlocking the golden handcuffs that had me locked in to a highly paid job that I had outgrown.

My mentor says to me, “So when will you leave your job and follow your dream?”

“September …  I will resign in September,” I reply.

He asks again only this time louder, almost shouting, “So when will you leave your job and follow your dream?”

I was shaking, I was scared. He was challenging me to walk away from my identity, my security, and everything I had worked toward for 17 years!

23 days later I resigned and my life has never been the same!

And why am I telling you this?

Chances are you have a dream or an idea that you haven’t acted on … yet!

Maybe you hear that inner voice whispering that you are not living the life that you want to live or being the person you know you can be.

Do you find yourself saying, “I will jump when the economy turns around, the election is over, I feel more secure, the stars are aligned, or when things feel more right?”

The truth is …  there is no perfect time, right time, safe time, etc.

There is now! Right now!

Right now is the perfect time to make that move, to start that business, to play big, to take a leap of faith, knowing you will succeed beyond your wildest dreams.

NOW is an opportunity of a lifetime … you just have to open your eyes and let go of your fear.

So are you ready for your opportunity of a lifetime?

Talents, Skills, and Being Extraordinary!

People seem to use the words talents and skills interchangeably, almost as if they had the same meaning.

I believe that talents and skills are different.

Talents encompass your strengths, your brilliance, and your genius.

And by genius, I mean in its original form found in the word – genie which mean magic … specifically, your magic!

Talents also include your God-given gifts and when you’re aligned and utilizing your talents in your work … it doesn’t feel like work.

Skills are a little different, skills are the things that you work on, learn, develop, and continue to work so that you can become an extraordinary lawyer, parent, teacher, leader, etc.

It is in the blending of your talents and skills that 2 of the 4 ingredients for greatness are found.

Michael Jordan was probably one of the most naturally gifted basketball players who ever played the game. One of the components that made him so extraordinary was his commitment to constantly sharpen his skills.

Even after winning 6 NBA Championships, if he missed foul shots during a game he would go out on the court after the arena was empty … and practice free throws.

So that got me thinking …

3 Questions To Ask Yourself:

  1. Are you conscious and aware of your natural strengths, gifts, and talents?
  2. Are you utilizing them in your work?
  3. What are you working on (reading, learning, growing) today that is enriching your skills as a leader, as a sales person, as a teacher. etc?

Every single person on this earth has a unique set of talents and gifts. Identifying them and incorporating them into your work/life will bring you happiness and set you on a course towards discovering your purpose.

Additionally, if you continue to develop your skills by learning, growing, and constantly increasing  your skill base … you will be on a path to being extraordinary!

So are you on your path to being extraordinary?

Great Leadership Is NOT ….

Great Leadership is not a reward for performance … it’s a calling.

Many times we find good performers who were promoted to a leadership role even though they lack the skills, talent, or most importantly, the desire to be a leader.

In most companies leadership is a reward for great performance. We take our top producers, promote them, and then expect them to take the rest of their team up to the same level of performance that made them so great. In some cases this scenario plays out as expected, the sad truth is that in most cases it doesn’t.

Companies are filled with unhappy workers not because the employee’s dislike the company … but because they dislike their leader. Statistically it has been proven that people don’t leave companies … they leave leaders.

3 Thoughts About Being A Great Leader …

  1. Being a great leader requires more than just talent and skills. It requires a burning desire to help others transform their lives so they can reach their maximum potential. If you were born to lead you don’t want to do anything else and you will do what ever it takes to achieve your goal of be a great one.
  2. Being a great leader isn’t just about desire either, it requires that you lean into the truth about who you are at your core. It requires that you push through obstacles and self-limiting beliefs  so that you can show up full out with all of your talent, brilliance, and genius.
  3. Being a great leader means that the focus of your leadership is not about you … it’s about the people you are privileged to lead … yes, leadership is a privilege!

3 Questions You Can Answer:

  1. Do you have a burning desire to lead … is it your calling?
  2. Are you clear about who you are at your core?
  3. Who is the focus of your leadership … you or your people?
3 Actions You Can Take:
  1. If you answered ‘no’ to question number 1 you might want to do you and your people a favor … resign, quit, walk away. There’s a chance you could be doing more damage than good … not just to your people but yourself as well ?
  2. If you answered ‘no’ to number 2 … start by buying the StrenghFinder Profile 2.0 Assessment and discover your base strengths. It is a great first step, then look into hiring a Coach to help you take the next step in developing yourself as a leader. By the way … I know a guy!
  3. If you answered  ‘no’ to number 3 … it’s probably time to do a gut check and a realignment … if you’re not willing to do that you might want to revisit action number 1.
How will you know if your leadership is a calling … you simply can’t imagine doing anything else!

The Reality of TV … ?

I invite you to close your eyes and pretend it is January 1, 2012. You wake up and park yourself in front of the television set and you don’t move … FOR THE NEXT 77 DAYS!

24 hours a day 7 days a week for the next 77 days you do nothing but watch hour after hour of reality crap, sorry I meant to say television.

You watch shows  like …  The Littlest Groom, Toddlers and Tiara’s, So You Think You Can Dance, So You Think You Can Sing, So You Think You Can Cook, Yen Can Cook, Snooki Can’t Cook, and whatever other reality shows that come on. Yes … 1,848 hours straight of TV!

Now you have a picture of how much television the average american adult watches each year!

On April 1st of this year I cancelled my satellite television subscription just to see what it would be like. I wanted to stop wasting time in front of the “boob tube” and use my valuable time more effectively. It’s been 4 months and I can honestly say … I don’t miss it!

Over the last 4 months I have read more, written more, exercised more, and spent more time with my friends and the people I love and care about.

Someone once said, “garbage in, garbage out.” You can’t sit in front of a television and not have it affect your thinking or making you sick.

Television? Make me sick? How could that happen? Well I believe in the power of suggestion and if you watch it long enough you just might start believing that you should ask your doctor about … Viagra, Cialis, Boniva, Enbrel, Lunesta, Humira, Avodart, Actonel, Levitra, Strattera, Vytorin, Zocor, and on and on and on …

So how much time do you actually spend watching television? And your kids?

Instead of spending countless hours in front of the television, what if you tried doing something that would improve your life or the life of someone else.

Here’s a few ideas:

25 Things You Could Do Instead Of Watching Television 

  1. Read a book.
  2. Write a book.
  3. Read with your kids.
  4. Help your kids with their homework.
  5. Exercise.
  6. Visit the elderly at a local nursing home.
  7. Volunteer at a local charity.
  8. Learn to play an instrument.
  9. Go on a date with your partner.
  10. Learn to dance.
  11. Learn something … anything!
  12. Get a hobby.
  13. Take the $1000 you save by cancelling your cable subscription and donate it to the needy.
  14. Spend time with your friends.
  15. Learn to meditate.
  16. Become an expert in your profession.
  17. Get a new profession!
  18. Go back to school.
  19. Take a cooking class just for fun.
  20. Join a bowling, soccer, hockey, or running club.
  21. Become a better communicator.
  22. Spend quality time with the people you love.
  23. Join Big Brother/Big Sisters and make a difference in a kids life!
  24. Make a difference in anybody else’s life!
  25. Learn how to reconnect to your passion and your true self … instead of watching someone else fake their’s in front of a camera!
So there you go … now go pick up the phone and cancel that subscription!

A Nudge … Towards Greatness?

Recently I attended the National Speakers Association (NSA) Annual Conference in Anaheim, California. For those of you who don’t know NSA is an organization made up of some of the world’s best professional speakers.

Zig Ziglar, Brian Tracy, Les Brown, Dr. Norman Vincent Peal, and Og Mandino are just a few of its legendary members.

As I sat listening to some of the current greats in the business, I found myself in a state of awe and fascination. Not necessarily because of the words they spoke, but more so by the delivery of those words … precise, accurate, perfectly timed, perfectly pitched, and eloquently spoken.  I saw myself as a student sitting at the feet of the masters, watching their magic unfold.

During a breakout session, one of the speakers from the main stage asked his audience why we chose his particular session. One of the audience members replied, it’s because you seemed relaxed, easy going, non-rehearsed, and not as polished as some of the other speakers while you delivered your message on the main stage.

The speaker replied, it has taken me 30 years to perfect my speaking, I have spent a lot of money on speaking coaches, mentors, theatre coaches, and worked extremely hard to be able to present that way, so please don’t think that it was easy or unintentional.

And that had me thinking:

Am I working as hard as I need to in order to be great … in my business?

A mentor and friend of mine by the name of Nido Qubein once said, “We are so busy being good that we don’t take the time to become great!”

3 Questions:

  1. Are you continually learning and studying how to be a great leader, sales professional, or whatever your chosen profession might be?
  2. Have you become comfortable being … good enough but not great?
  3. What action do you need to take in order to take your business or your life to a level of greatness?

Inside each and every one of us is the seed of greatness. Sometimes it just needs a little nudge in order to break through the surface and begin the journey upward towards its destiny … consider this a nudge!