Posts Tagged ‘success’

Do You Really Need a Coach?

Wednesday, April 1st, 2015

Coach-Counselor-Mentor-ConsultantIf you are in any type of transition regarding work or life, or you are considering a transition, then you may have thought about getting someone to coach you through the process. For example, you may be seeking a new direction for your future because it’s clear what you’ve been doing isn’t working any longer. Alternatively, you might know exactly what you want to do; but you can’t see how to bridge your past experience with your aspirations for a new career.

These are reasonable times to consider getting yourself some coaching, especially if you have friends or loved ones who are more than willing to give you their opinions of what you should do.

Friends and loved ones are the most dangerous part of making a change.

There’s a bundle of reasons, and here are some. Friends don’t like to see friends change. After all, you are friends because of who you are now, not who you could become. Loved ones have a stake in who you are now, including how you earn a paycheck, the days of the week you have free time to spend with them, and the chores you do to keep a household or relationship humming.

Most of my coaching clients delay their decision to get coached, about 6 to 36 months past when they should have reached out. Why? They rely on friends and loved ones for advice! The very people who have a stake in your remaining in your present form, doing the job you do, the way you do it, and not adding any further burden of either greater status or dependency on them.

Even knowing this, most people “crowdsource” the most important decisions in their lives. Recently, a client came to me because she was standing at a school with other young moms. They weren’t even people she knew well, just other parents who shared carpool, cupcake making and fundraising with each other. Their only connection was their kids attendance at the school, which of course means the birthday parties, T-ball and cascade of events that bring families together under the circumstances.

“The other moms asked me what I do,” Sarah reported to me. “So, I figured I better do something, since everyone was an attorney, business owner, or had some occupation. Turns out I was the only mom who had taken some time off.”

Peer pressure doesn’t stop when you graduate high school. These largely anonymous people had crowdsourced Sarah out of her decision to stay home. She’d made the decision to help her family stabilize while their first child entered school and her husband took a job that required him to travel.

Whether or not Sarah was ready to return to work, is a personal and financial question. Yet, like most people, she was polling strangers – or at least accepting their vote – about her life.

That’s a moment for coaching. Sarah had met me at a 2-day seminar I gave on personal branding, and she reached out to get a one-on-one session. In 90 minutes we solved her problem, got an action plan together, and set her on making decisions that were truly relevant to her situation. She’ll check back with me for a progress report in eight weeks.

So, when is the right time for coaching? Whenever you find yourself polling others about your life choices, whenever you fear the criticism or lack of support from friends or loved ones, and whenever you need clear answers to questions that confound you.

I know. I’ve been coached on every significant life change I’ve ever made. It’s part of my success equation. Should it be part of yours?

Do you have a question you want to ask a coach? Email it to me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Question. I will write back to you, with some insight to move you forward.

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Shocking Truth About Self-Esteem Revealed!

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

career, nance rosen, successFor the last 30 years US parents, schools and youth athletic teams were all fed a singular, central message about how to rear successful children and guess what? They were wrong. All the developmental literature and experts have been pumping out the message: self-esteem is the #1 ticket to success.

That’s why all the kids playing T-ball got a trophy, whether they won or not. Some leagues didn’t even keep score. After all, athletic contests weren’t about athletic ability, training, or practicing. And, they certainly weren’t about real winning. They were engineered to be all about building up your self-esteem. Hence, the endless ribbons, trophies and even grade inflation that were meant to fill up the well of self-esteem that would somehow flow over into a river of success.

Schools and parents were fed, and then recycled a stream of “build them up” rhetoric, because children were supposed to be protected from feeling the pain of poor performance and criticism. Competition and comparison were evil doers. Self-esteem was to be preserved at all times.

No one was better, we were all just different.

At least that’s the way it has been in the US. Of course, from other cultures we heard about draconian measures taken by so-called “tiger parents,” who pressured, demanded, and withheld any fun that could possibly get in the way of perseverance.

In the US, parents were supposed to be helicoptering around their kids, so that all possible praise and good fortune wouldn’t dim the bulb of self-esteem.

Turns out all that is hogwash. Self-esteem, earned or not, isn’t a causal factor of success. Self-esteem is a by-product of success. If not, you simply have a person with a bloated ego, poor self-management and a complete misunderstanding of what work is.

This is why so many managers are completely perplexed about their entry level employees. Many of these new workers seem to think that simply showing up is the job – and by the way, when is the next raise and promotion??? I hear an endless litany of complaints from their managers. These folks don’t spell check their work , they don’t finish their work, and they have only a very casual relationship with deadlines. Plus, they don’t get along with other people at work, clients included.

Someone owes us all an apology.

It’s not self-esteem that leads to success.

Self-control leads to success.

In the famous, “can-you-wait-for-two-marshmallows” test with young children who were sat in front of one marshmallow they could eat on-the-spot … you guessed it. What happened to the children who waited; that fraction of the group who exhibited self-control? Decades later, they were successful adults! The one-marshmallow eaters were far behind in wages, job titles and life in general.

Self-control – the ability to patiently wait, to think about future reward while working hard in the present – that is all you need to succeed.

So if you feel unjustifiably proud of yourself for having all those little trophies? Don’t worry. There’s a new chance, every time the sun comes up. Today, you can practice being polite, waiting your turn, or get working on something that is really difficult – and won’t pay off for years to come.

It turns out self-control builds character. And, that’s what it takes to pursue a vision for your own business or build a career in a company or industry. Now get to work!

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Not Blessed With the Bliss Gene?

Thursday, March 12th, 2015

Brand Attributes, nance rosen, successYou either have it or you don’t. New neuroscience reveals that 20% of the population has what is best described as a innate marijuana-making machine in their brains, resulting in – among other things – a low probability of becoming addicted to opiates and the like. It’s a gene mutation, the good kind.

Beyond the ability to “just say no,” to substances, what does this so-called bliss gene really deliver?

  • Relaxation under pressure
  • Calm, steady judgment
  • Perspective when things goes awry
  • Immense self-control and patience
  • A cheery, congenial, and agreeable dispositions

So, if you’ve been aggravated about the literature on why tall men earn more than 10X their average heighted peeps, and why naturally thin people are viewed as superior in their ability to get work done on time and on budget?

You now have another fact of biology to disdain. Unless of course, you have that gene mutation. In which case, celebrate for: #whatyourmamagaveyou.

This mutant gene gives you a leg up on the ability to self-regulate, potentially the greatest skill you can have now in business. Yes, it is a skill; although, it’s clear today that’s it’s also a natural inclination for some of us.

Self-regulation is the ability to act gracefully or elegantly in even truly awful circumstances. No matter what’s off, you cause the least friction. Your interactions are streamlined. You use what you take and you take what you need, not a whit more and with no waste of time, talent or other people’s patience.

You can see why bliss gene blessed people are among the most likely to succeed.

What about the rest of us? What about the bipolar, ADD, hysterical, narcissistic, and dependent personalities among us? Are we DOOMED?

No. We are just special.

You may recall a time when parents were advised that not every child was going to be great at everything. No matter how much helicoptering Mum or Dad would do: there really would be failure. And that failure really would direct us to success.

Why is failure good for success? For the same reason that a “no” is as good as a “yes” in selling. A “no” allows you to move on.

What if you are easily irritated, fractious, with little patience for anyone other than your cat? You can move on to something much more self-centered than a large company or a one room office with everybody from the start-up eating onion sandwiches and playing basketball in the hoop over your desk.

Strengthfinders was supposed to give you a path to your bliss, by identifying your innate traits that would be fulfilled by the type of work you do. It was supposed to lead you to the right seat on the right bus. There’s been dozens of books and theories and self-assessments like this. And, there’s been books by folks like Daniel Pink that companies adopt in hopes that a set of core values, vetted by an expert, and written on a wall would be an organization’s salvation from bad bossing, sexism, racism, tribalism, or any other mentally challenged acts or beliefs of the people in the organization.

The problem? Just us. We oftentimes don’t believe what is plainly true. Not everyone is a company man (or woman). Not everyone can put up with everything that goes on in the mayhem of organizational life.

Yet you do belong among the working and likely wealthy, when the corporate gig repels you or expels you. You just belong to the gaggle of amazing superheroes who make it on their own. That includes the genius inventor, the insightful consultant, the there-when-you’re-needed-most freelancer, the call-me-and-I’ll-come-in contract worker, imaginative artisan, or even the tyrant of your own domain (AKA your own blog address).

Bliss gene or not: you belong. It’s just a matter of finding where your real bliss is. It just might be all about finding you.

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24 Life Questions To Answer Before It’s Too Late

Wednesday, February 18th, 2015

 job search, nance rosen, successAs a career coach and business communications expert, I often surprise people by knowing something about them that they have never told me – and maybe never told anyone else. I am not psychic. I am empathetic.

When I ask you a question, and your brain re-routes it to give me an unrelated answer: I know you’ve got a lot on your mind, and lots of it is sad, frustrated and filled with regrets. Sometimes your answers – and even your questions – are touched by bitterness, jealousy and fear.

I know this, and so do most people around you. The difference between them and me is simple. My job is to help you find your authentic self, and then help you represent yourself. By that I mean, structuring a way for you to show us the real you, the person we want to hire, fund or choose as our business consultant or favorite company to patronize.

I help you find your inner wisdom, self-acceptance, and clear-eyed optimism.

My job is to tell you how you are coming across. Then, help you make the genuine transition to the person who stops losing, who stops failing, and who is never again less than your potential or desire. In other words, I help you get what you want, what you really, really want.

Nothing I do is magic. I don’t do hypnosis. I have a process that helps you unsheathe your truth, your power and your future. That means, I have to listen for the pain, and sometimes the confusion that has created a fractured self-image, rotting career, failing business or stunted ambition.

What’s going wrong today for you at work or even in your life, flows from what I call your “ocean of negativity.” That’s the toxic soup of criticism, lack of validation and neglect that’s been brewing since childhood.

My work is showing you how to be what I call “self-positive.” How to find your valuable, shiny self that’s been tarnished, simply by being overlooked. And match your really wonderful qualities with authentic opportunities for your business or career.

I’m putting together a distance-learning course, so you’ll have more access to this process as soon as I can get it completed. If you want to know when the course is ready, just email me at Nance@NanceRosen.com. Subject line: Authentic.

In the meantime, here are some questions to get you started cleaning up that ocean of negativity. If you send me your answers to a few questions – the ones that mean the most to you: I’ll be sure to keep them in confidence, and get back to you with a personal message.

  1. Your most fearful moment?
  2. What people first meet you, what are you afraid they will think?
  3. A period of time in your life when you felt unprotected?
  4. A person who made you miserable for a long time?
  5. Something on your mind you are afraid to share?
  6. A plan or projects you worry may fail?
  7. The greatest amount of emotional pain you have ever endured?
  8. Your greatest fear?
  9. The most important thing in life?
  10. A piece of wisdom you would pass on to a child?
  11. Three words that describe how others view you?
  12. If you could change anything about the world?
  13. A smell that makes you pause?
  14. List of professions you’d like to try?
  15. How you plan to spend the last years of your life?
  16. Your current philosophy is?
  17. You would shout with joy right now if someone told you this?
  18. A list of your proudest accomplishments?
  19. A newspaper headline you would like to read about yourself?
  20. Your biggest acts of kindness?
  21. The best piece of advice a friend gave you?
  22. Your proudest moment? Someone who shared this moment with you?
  23. You are far better than most people you know at doing what?
  24. Three things for which you are often complimented?

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Did You Win a Grammy? Why Not?

Friday, February 13th, 2015

success, career, nance rosenCongratulations to everyone who won. And, congratulations to Kanye West who, persists in believing he is: “The One Who Decides What Is Sufficiently Creative to Win for Album of the Year.”

Per the Huffington Post: “Kanye West nearly interrupted Beck after the rock star won Album of the Year over Beyonce. Many outlets including HuffPost Entertainment, assumed West’s improve was a joking reference to when he cut off Taylor Swift at the 2009 MTV VMAs.”

It wasn’t an act of mirth. Kanye ranted on in all seriousness about his decision-making powers being superior to the voters (who are the majority of all the recording artists in the academy). If you didn’t know, “The GRAMMYs are the only peer-presented award to honor artistic achievement, technical proficiency and overall excellence in the recording industry, without regard to album sales or chart position,” per the Grammy.org.

All Kanye hijinks aside, why didn’t YOU win?

Well, it could be many things.

  1. Maybe you didn’t record anything this year.
  2. Maybe you did, but you didn’t promote it.
  3. Maybe you did, but it was not your best effort.
  4. Maybe you did, but no one else thought it was good.

I’m not talking to just you musicians.

Joan Rivers, God rest her soul, won. She earned her Grammy for “Best Spoken Word Album (includes Poetry, Audio Books & Storytelling.)”

So why didn’t you win? Undoubtedly you did some speaking this year. You told some stories. Maybe you wrote a line or two of prose. Technology couldn’t make it any easier to record and upload to everywhere music or any other sound is heard.

So you didn’t win because you didn’t do the work, and you didn’t enter.

What is a Grammy anyway?

It’s just recognition. So, I’m talking to you about a Grammy as a metaphor for what you should be going for, at this point in your career or business. Recognition for you might be a promotion, a salary increase, an investment in your venture, or a new position at a new company. It might be a comment on your blog or post. It might be more followers, friends or fans.

However you measure your “Grammy,” you’ve got to be in it, to win it.

You probably don’t have an official awards night or two or ten each year, in your company, industry, sport, family or any other sector of your life.

But, you’re missing out if you don’t have an awards ceremony every day, for you, by you and with you. Every day, you’ve got to set aside some time, when you are the focus of your consciousness and congratulation. Put a time on your daily calendar, when you review your accomplishments, your progress, your earnest hard work, or stretch toward a goal.

So get yourself a little Kanye going, and be “The One Who Decides You Are The Best Decision-Maker of What is Great. Do it everyday. And let winning becoming a habit.

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What Would Tom Brady Say About You?

Wednesday, February 4th, 2015

Brand Attributes, nance rosen, successLast Sunday, my favorite comment by any of the many sportscasters was this: “Brady was unstoppable when the pressure was strongest.”

What if we said that about you?

Are you unstoppable when the pressure is the strongest?

The strongest stress is when it all comes down to one action you must take in one moment, under whatever conditions are present, in front of whatever crowd has gathered (or not). Brady threw the touchdowns. Butler made the game-stopping interception, with 20 seconds to go. The players on both sides played against the odds, because they were all great players.

Sometimes the battle is just you and a deadline. Sometimes it’s you and a blank piece of paper. Sometimes it’s you and people waiting for you to say something profound that will advance their business or solve their problem. Sometimes it’s having the presence of mind to do the deal that can be done, rather than the deal you imagined you would have.

Sometimes you are out of money, out of time and out of patience. Your adversary or obstacle appears strong and unmovable. Sometimes the only options you have are the ones you can conjure up on your own. Sometimes the only option is to simply bear the anxiety, and trust your teammates.

Any of those moments could be the moment when the pressure is the strongest.

I like that kind of stress. Tom Brady does, too. Do you?

I call that good stress, versus bad stress.

The only difference between good and bad stress is what the stress means for you. Or perhaps better said, what does the stress do FOR you, rather than TO you?

“Every team has a journey and a lot of people lost faith in us … but we held strong, we held together, and it’s a great feeling.” Tom Brady said.

“I just had a vision that I was going to make a big play and it came true,” Malcolm Butler said of his goal-line interception that gave the Patriots its Super Bowl XLIX title. “Butler was kicked out of school early in his freshman season. He spent 2010 out of football, working at a Popeye’s and taking classes at Alcorn State,” per AL.com.

If your life has been more like Butler’s than MVP Brady – you have Brady’s respect and gratitude. What you may not know is pretty much all of us are rooting for you, to do what you do best under the stress you find yourself in.

Do what you do, the way you do, under whatever conditions you’re in. Save the day. Win the game. Get that report in on time. Sign the deal. And when you do, imagine the crowd roars for you!

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The #1 Relationship Problem That Stalls Your Career

Wednesday, January 21st, 2015

 

nance rosen, Productivity Skills, relationships, successAll of us have experienced “relationship” problems. You might have a problem with your girlfriend or boyfriend, life partner, parent, sibling, business partner, best friend, roommate, boss, coworker or even a neighbor. Really, given the number of people in your life, especially when you add your FB fame or any other cyber group you’re in: it’s amazing you have any ability to focus on anything in your career or business.

Focus is the greatest predictor of progress. Relationship problems get in the way of your ability to focus.

The worst relationship problem you have is with yourself.

It seems odd to think of yourself being in a relationship with yourself. But, you are. You reject yourself. Criticize yourself. Feel guilty about abusing your body. Feel out-of-control about your impulsive behavior. And, occasionally you feel good about yourself, even great – often because you’ve kept a resolution or promise you made to yourself.

Did you make resolutions this year? Like:

1. I will go to bed before midnight because experts say it’s good for my liver. FYI, depression experts say that staying up all night is an immediate and wildly effective intervention if you are suffering. Keep in mind, all-nighters are not part of a long term strategy because sleep deprivation is used for torture, as we found out in the last peek into CIA documents. But being depressed might be more important than your liver on any given day. And one night does not approach the torture threshold.

2. I will drop or add 10 pounds so I can look a lot more like Bradley Cooper, or like Bradley Cooper’s girlfriend. BGF: Thank you for posting those selfie bikini photos because apparently Bradley is incapable of giving you enough attention, so why not get more from random strangers? It’s clear your being photographed by the paparazzi when you’re with Bradley really isn’t as fulfilling as being photographed by yourself, by yourself.

3. I will stop smoking, biting my nails, yelling at my kids, drinking Diet Coke, texting while driving, using my finger nails as tools to scrape stuff off my desk, eating gluten, being a glutton or doing anything that in any way reduces my anxiety in ways that work in the moment, but make me feel bad later in the day, week, year or any period of time that I feel anxious. That time period would be called my life.

In other words: you make promises to yourself and break them all the time. Then you feel remorse, guilt, misery, and out-of-control.

Given that you probably don’t give yourself a time-out and sit in the corner, you probably push the self-recrimination under the proverbial rug and keep living your life. In other words: you don’t actually figure out the root of the problem or goal. You declare tomorrow is the day when you will really make progress on this goal.

That promise is a trance you put yourself in. It’s what I call a “stalling trance.” You delay your progress by a) making the promise and breaking it, and then b) making the promise again.

Because you don’t figure out what’s wrong with the promise or how to set up your environment so you will succeed: you are actually giving yourself the “silent treatment.”

Now, most people in relationships with others use the “silent treatment” to punish the offender. If you tell your romantic partner to bring home some milk, be nice to your parents, stop telling jokes in public or never again sing Raindrops Keep Falling on My Head at karaoke: and that demand is denied: what is the number one most common response?

The silent treatment. You simply stop talking to the offender, maybe for a day. More if it’s not the first offense, or whatever you decide as prosecutor, judge, jury and probation officer.

In psychology the silent treatment is called: the Demand/Withdraw dance. Actually, they don’t call it a dance, I do. It’s an awkward dance because you’re with this person, often sharing the same space, and you have to weirdly move around them, not talking. You withdraw from engaging in the relationship, by withholding communication. At least about the gross violation of your direct order.

You do the same thing with yourself. You demand certain behaviors of yourself that are not natural – at least not at first. You demanded that you stop over-eating. Or my favorite: stop procrastinating.

When you fail to follow your demands, a bunch of feelings roll in like a thick pea soup fog. No words. Just a sickening stomach churning, cheek burning embarrassment that you failed yourself. Again.

Disappointment and a sense of powerlessness over not just this failure, but all your past failures leave you speechless at how little self-control you have. Hence, the silent treatment. After all, what could you say?

How about speaking up with the best new resolutions you could have. “I will stop ordering myself around. I will catch myself doing things right. I will make a huge deal about anything that could be considered even the tiniest triumph.”

Or more simply: “I will like myself today.”

Repeat each day until it sticks.

That’s progress.

 

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Personal Branding Pledge 2015

Wednesday, December 31st, 2014

shutterstock_185166815-300x200I agree to be me

I accept the obligations and honor of my authenticity

I agree that this year, perhaps unlike any other

I will not bother to be a shadow, a cipher or a ghost in my life

I will not hobble myself with the expectations of another

Even if I face a force previously controlling or dominating

I wrest my freedom without apology for not capitulating

Not my pride, not my ego, not my fear, not my doubt

Holds any clout, any power, any authority or might

I don’t care if they stare or if I get sideways glances

I am here to be me and that means taking my chances

Chances others don’t even see because unlike me they are not free

And I am because I am, and I am because I am me

I have a truth to tell, not to sell or be sold on

I don’t have to be told to be bold on the battlefield I win on

I will find my way faster than an ordinary human could

Because I am filled with who I am and from now on I will be

Unshackled by faux rules or a mold that doesn’t suit me

The fog has lifted and revealed a silver city and gold-filled sea

This is my place, the massive playground where I enjoy prosperity

This is the year I write the story of the hero who I am.

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