Monthly Archives: January 2013

SerenDestiny #67: People Can’t Jump on your Bandwagon – If It’s Parked in the Garage

bandwagon_sized

“If you don’t go, you’ll never know.” – Robert De Niro

Many of us operate with the opposite of Robert De Niro’s insight.

If we don’t know; we don’t go.

The problem with that?

By definition, with any new venture, we DON’T KNOW what we’re doing.

If we use “knowing what we’re doing” as a prerequisite for moving forward … we never move forward.

Yikes.

That’s where GTS comes in.

What’s GTS?

Let me explain.

A year after my son Andrew graduated from VA Tech with a business degree, we were having dinner.

Andrew had “lucked out” and found a job as an executive recruiter. He was the envy of his college buddies because he was working in a classy downtown building, making good money and working for a respected, well-connected industry icon who was arranging for him to do neat things like work at events with President Obama and Tony Bennett. Not the normal career trajectory.

Yet, as I looked into Andrew’s eyes that night, there was no spark.

In fact, he used a word I’d never heard him use before. Exhausted.

I asked, “So, are you going down to VA Tech this weekend to see the game?”

“Nah. By the time I’d drive down there, I’d only have a few hours and then I’d have to turn around and come back. I just don’t have the energy. I’m exhausted.”

Exhausted?!? How could that be? How was it that this formerly energetic 20-something was burned out?

I asked, “Andrew, what’s up?”

He said, “Mom, I want to quit. I know I should be grateful for this job, and I am, but sitting at a computer all day researching job openings and making cold calls is not what I was born to do.”

“What do you want to do?”

Andrew immediately became more animated. “I want to start a non-profit.”

I have to admit, this conservative person I didn’t even know existed popped up and almost caused me to blurt out, “Non-profit?! Do you know how many non-profits are going out of business these days because donations have dried up? How are you going to pay bills? What about health insurance?”

Thank heaven a wiser voice prevailed. I thought to myself, “Isn’t this exactly what 20-somethings ought to be doing at this stage of their life? Andrew’s 23. If he doesn’t go for what he wants now, he may never get a chance to later. Good for him for wanting to do work he’s proud of. I should be supporting him, not shutting him down.”

So, I said, “Andrew, you’ve always been resourceful. If you apply yourself, I know you can pull this off.”

You may be thinking, “But how could Andrew pull this off? He’d never run a non-profit before.”

That’s true … and that’s where GTS comes in.

GTS stands for Google that … stuff. (As you can imagine, Millennials sometimes substitute another word for stuff.)

Andrew thanked his boss for giving him that job opportunity right out of college – and then promptly got online and Googled “How can I start a non-profit?”

Up came dozens of resources – all telling Andrew exactly what steps he needed to take to get a license, find a team and get funding.

In the course of one year, Andrew recruited a team of 20 (!) interns and found a collaborative work space at the Affinity Lab in Washington DC.

It was the ideal environment to get other people on his bandwagon. Someone a couple desks over would ask, “Andrew, what are you working on today?”

Andrew would say, “I’m applying for a grant” and they would say, “Oh, I did that last year. You can borrow the proposal I filled out and use it as a template.”

Andrew never had to go it alone as he was surrounded by others who shared his vision and had his back … and front.

The result?

Dreams for Kids – DC – http://dreamsforkids.org/blankman/dc/ – has sponsored dozens of adaptive athletic programs for kids and gotten them off the sidelines and into the games of life. They have sponsored Extreme Recess clinics with the Washington Nationals baseball players, Capitals hockey players, Wizard and Mystic basketball players and United soccer players.

Dreams for Kids – DC has made a positive difference for thousands of young people through their Dream Leader programs in local schools and through their annual Holiday for Hope program at Howard University.

All because Andrew didn’t quit before he started because he “didn’t know what he was doing.”

If there’s anything I’ve learned in the past few years interviewing people about their SerenDestiny – a life where the light is on in your eyes because you’re doing what you love most and do best – it’s that PEOPLE CAN’T JUMP ON YOUR BANDWAGON – IF ITS PARKED IN THE GARAGE.

What do you want to do? What would put the light on in your eyes?

Are you hesitating because you don’t know what to do?

Remember – you don’t have to know to go.

Get online right now. Phrase what you want to do as a question and put it into your favorite search engine. GTS your dream goal – and up will come dozens of resources to help you on your way.

Whether you want to write a book, become a ballroom dancer or launch your own business … those online resources will tell you how to take your first steps.

Do you want this year to be your best ever? Do you want the light on in your eyes?

Don’t wait, initiate.

GTS what you want to do. And then get your bandwagon out of the garage and get moving.

SerenDestiny #66: One Day You’ll Wake Up and There Won’t Be Any More Time To Do The Things You’ve Always Wanted

Paulo Coelho - Someday, You Will Wake Up ...

What wise words from Alchemist author, Paulo Coelho, “One day you will wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted.”

I don’t think it’s morbid to think of our mortality; I think it’s motivating.

Anne Morrow Lindbergh said, “Perhaps we never really appreciate anything until it’s challenged.”

She’s right. We tend to take life for granted.

We focus on what time to set the alarm, getting the kids off to school, the commute, our appointments for the day, what we’re going to have for dinner, what’s on TV that night.

We don’t usually take time to stop, look around and fill ourselves with gratitude for the fact that we’re alive, healthy, free.

We don’t often make time to absorb and appreciate the incredible abundance that surrounds us each and every day.

It’s easy to take tomorrow for granted.

We think about what we want to do – write that book, take that trip, spend more time with our loved ones – and it’s always, “I’ll do it later. Later when I’m not so busy. Later when I have more time. Later.”

What if later never comes?

What regrets would we have for perpetually postponing those things we always meant to do … someday?

I love January.

I love making new year’s resolutions.

I love the hope that goes along with the premise that we can have a fresh start anytime we want. That we can do things differently; that we can begin that priority we’ve put off.

What’s that for you?

For me, it’s writing.

I’ve had a blessed couple of years. Lots of speaking. Lots of coaching/consulting. Lots of business expansion.

And I’m grateful for it.

It’s a privilege to work with people who thrill me and to facilitate and expedite them getting their valuable messages out of their head and into the world.

2013 is my turn.

Time to schedule time on the calendar for my books – for my writing.

Doesn’t it make sense to honor our ideas as much as we honor others’?

How about you?

I am going to guess that you too have been facilitating other people’s work – other people’s growth – other people’s success. And it is a gift to be able to do that.

The question is, have you been doing that at the cost of your own contribution?

If so, how are you going to carve out time to honor your contribution as much as you honor others’?

I know what I’m going to do. I am going to write a half hour every morning.

Even when I have a day filled with consults. Even when I’m on the road traveling. Even when I’m speaking at conferences or hosting retreats.

A half hour. That’s not too much to ask, is it?

Care to join me?

Are you ready to commit a half hour every morning for YOUR heartfelt priority?

What is that for you?

I look forward to hearing from you as you embark on a year of “half hour a day” commitments to your “Paulo Coelho priority.”

Imagine what you will have accomplished by the end of the year.

Imagine how happy you will be looking back.

Happy that you acted on what you wanted to do.

Happy that you no longer put off your “Paulo Coelho Priority.”

Happy that you took responsibility for making your life what you want it to be now, not someday.

This has been my half hour for today … what’s your’s?