This morning I was sipping coffee in an Adirondack chair beside my garden, listening to the birds and writing in my journal.
Which quickly became a lengthy to-do list of garden tasks, chronicalling all that was yet undone. (Did I mention it was lengthy??)
We have friends staying near us for the week, and they wandered over to start their day. As they settled into their chairs they mentioned how much they loved the garden… and the pond… and the birds… and the…..
A shift in perspective.
While I was focusing on what remained to be done, they were enjoying what already was. And as I looked around from their perspective, the garden DID look great.
Of course, I don’t just do this in my garden. I so often get caught up in plans and futures and possibilities and always-more-that-I-could-do better for family, friends and clients.
And while living in my vision of the future, I miss out on all the goodness that is here.
Back to Business
What can you enjoy about your business today? What can you appreciate even though it is not yet where you want it to be?
I’d really love to hear.
I’m thinking about…. thought leaders. Not the people who declare themselves to be, but those on the cusp who are putting new ideas out there and seeing how they fly.
I have a client who is doing great things and thinking in a different way. He sells modular buildings. And he holds the vision of how this could be a breakthrough concept for school design.
Reconfigurable as class sizes change. As learning styles evolve. As town and school budgets fluctuate. As more is learned every day about innovative ways to teach children.
They can look permanent — customized to fit in with rest of architecture. But they can also MOVE as the needs of the school change.
Plus they’re GREEN — saving resources while providing a healthier environment for children.
Cool, right? And an application of modular buildings that has barely been explored.
He is a thought leader, ready to lead his industry in a new direction. The trouble is, he’s not sure. “I don’t know enough,” he worries.
Here’s the secret.
When you’re pushing boundaries, you will never feel that you know enough. How could you? The territory is all new. And most likely changing.
As long as you continue to innovate and imagine, that slightly unsure feeling in your stomach will persist. Along with the excitement of learning new things and seeing in new ways. And sharing that.
Get over it
(And I say that in the most loving way possible). No one will ever declare you an expert. You have to be willing to be out in front… to lead.
A true thought leader rarely believes they are one.
Photo by Jule_Berlin
Have you had a chance to try out Google +? It’s the newest social media channel, less than one month old. It’s only for personal use right now — no companies allowed. I’m finding it to be refreshingly different from Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn — a bit more space, more ease and lots of customization available. It feels like not as much shouting somehow.
And it’s catching on fast. After 24 days, Google has over 20 million users — Facebook and Twitter took two years to get there.
Graph from Leon Haland
Even with 20 million users, how much value you will from get from it depends on how many of your friends/associates/customers have signed up for it. (If you need an invite, send me an email.)
What’s So Special?
It’s all in the circles. You can set up circles for different categories of friends. I’ve got circles for Friends, Clients, Family, Entrepreneurs, and Arty Friends, to start. Someone can be in more than one circle, because life tends to overlap, doesn’t it? Then you can send out messages and have conversations targeted to what that person is interested in.
And it feels so far as though it is not as much about broadcasting out, as Twitter and Facebook do, but fosters more conversation, similar to a blog. Of course, they’re just getting started.
When Can Your Company Join?
When Google + first opened, companies rushed to be at the front of the line and began making Profile pages. But Google wasn’t ready for them, and in fact deleted the company profiles.
Google is now promising Q3 for brands, which could mean soon… or not.
How Will This Affect YOU?
Of course we won’t know until we see it and try it.
And, as with any social media channel, how effective it is will vary based on your company, your social media goals and your customers/clients.
But the potential looks great. And just as soon as it comes live for businesses, we will look at the best use for YOUR business and get it going.
(And please come visit and connect. Warning — Not much there yet. I’m still playing with it myself.)
For more on Google Plus and its features, here is the official word from Google.)
Photo courtesy of ©Ken Douglas
I woke up this morning filled with an epiphany. It is JULY, people!
Yeah, I know — obvious. But think about it. JULY. We are halfway through the year with our businesses.
Remember all those bright shiny January New Year’s hopes and plans? Now’s the time to take a look again.
Right on target? Go reward yourself with a favorite beverage (mine is iced coffee), sipped outside in the gorgeous July sunshine. No really, you deserve it — go ahead.
Some progress? Let’s bask in that a moment. Ahhhhhh
Not quite so much progress — here’s your chance to hit that Restart button. (And I’m right there with you on this one.)
Personally, I never seem to be where I want to be in July. Over-exuberance and optimism in January planning … perhaps. Fear and doubts around actually Doing the Thing I want to do — definitely. Perfectionism requiring that I work just ONE aspect completely to death and then feel it’s not good enough to actually share — you got me.
If your plan is going fine, keep on rolling. We are all clapping for you.
Let’s pick ONE THING. What will you be most happy to see movement on. (Or conversely, what will you be yelling at yourself about in December because it didn’t happen?)
- Is that one thing doable?
- Do you know what the very next step to take is?
- Could it maybe even already be good enough as it is and just needs to be floated out there so that you can see what else it might need?
I think I’ll go work on a certain blog……
Photo Courtesy of ©Nicholaus Haskins
In January — of 2009 that is — I declared that my most important goal was to finally start the $%&$*% blog. The one I had been planning and talking about for years. A lover of all things Blog, it was way past time for me to jump in and join the fun.
Flash forward to today. 16 months have gone by. Still no blog.
So I am telling myself what I so easily tell my clients:
1. Just start.
2. Use your own voice.
3. Write to one person.
4. Have fun with it.
Because it’s all about starting and discovery and learning. Perfectionism, second guessing and self-consciousness don’t really have a place here at all.
Welcome to Post #1 of my new blog, Six Million Ways to Shine. I’m so very glad you’re here.