Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Art of Focus

How many times today, yesterday, in the past weeks and month have you said, "I really need to sit down and focus today." We all say it far too much and have a real issue with actually TRULY focusing on the task at hand. This results in decreased productivity and overall poor efficiency for you and your team.

Too many people start things, lose focus and never get back to finishing them. Yes, we get it - things come up, the phone rings, you get 1,000 emails in one day. But, believe me, I spend my life on the road and you have to learn to live with no balance sometimes and continued to stay on the track in the midst of something we call, life...

This is why people have a hard time in business - they open a new restaurant or store but the dreams and FOCUS that got them to that point in the first place are never realized because of the lost focus.

Do not lose focus on your dreams and goals. Set some for yourself this week and actually follow through with them. You will be amazed at the outcome...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Change or Chance?

The other day I was sitting on a plane (of course) and listening to the flight attendants talk about their lives. One began telling the story of how she was constantly uprooted from her home and moved to different cities because of her dads job. This she said is why I have had such a tough time in life! She explained that she was living in Newport Beach, California when her dad got transferred to Indiana and it was terrible. The "farm people", the "uncool people", "ugly clothes", and on and on!

At that point I couldn't take it and spoke up (as I would). I was sitting in row 1 so I was practically in their conversation. I said to the flight attendant, "oh I know what you mean, my dad was transferred so much that I went to 10 different schools and moved all over the country, including Indiana." She smiled and said "oh so you know what I mean." I replied with "no I don't, I had a great experience traveling all over the country, meeting new people, going to new schools and learning to fit in to my next home." You can only imagine the look on her face.

What is wrong today is that too many people want a certain life to fit into their plans and make it perfect. Well I have news for anyone that wants it to just work your way - it won't. Life throws us curves everyday and your ability to handle those curve balls is what gives you character.

I am writing this as I sit on my beautiful porch of our cottage in Northern Michigan. I remember growing up in Michigan (down state as they call it) and getting so excited each summer for our trip "up north." It was the same for many years - our vacation was always in Grand Haven, Michigan staying in my grandparents travel trailer until my dad started us sailing. Each year we would load up the boat and head "north." The weather was unpredictable, some ports were more fun than others and depending on which friend we brought with us the company was sometimes better than others. But what we did have was our family - my mom, dad and sister and me. We were a team and learned how to have fun in rain, sleet and sun.

I believe this came from our life moving around. My dad's career kept us on the move, he would get promoted and off we would go. I always remember how he would come home and tell us that we were moving - first he would say "I have some good news and some other news." Not bad news, just other news and we knew. I would get so excited - a new room, new friends and a new outlook on life.

I know that my idyllic life on the porch of my cottage won't last all year. I too have to go back to work and re-enter "real life." But for now I will always remember that change is good because it gives you a chance to find yourself in a new way.