Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Does Busyness Have Anything to Do With Business?

I'm struggling just a little bit these days to determine whether my busyness is leading to business or whether it's becoming a distraction for me.

Before I go any further here, I need to tell all of you that I have spent exactly $50 on advertising for my business: $25 for an ad in the program for my Sweet Adeline chorus show last year and $25 for an ad in the program for this year's show. That's it. So I'm grateful that, other than that $50, I've spent no money to promote my business and am still in business. I've been very fortunate that word-of-mouth marketing has been incredibly successful for me.

However, we all know time is money, so in that case I'm spending a lot.

I understand that time, like money, needs to flow. As we try to hoard either, we end up, in the end, with unfulfilled expectations and frustrations because, although we may find ourselves with a few extra dollars and a few extra minutes, we won't really be productive with either.

But my challenge these days is getting beyond what I know in my head to doing something with it in my life.

Does anyone have any ideas for turning busyness into business? What do you - especially you who are fellow "soul" proprietors - do to focus your time and energy to generate new client opportunities? Any suggestions about how you've taken advantage of word-of-mouth marketing?

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

A Piece of My Mind - or Peace of Mind?

I've been thinking lately about how thoughts become things (thanks, TUT!). If that is true, and everything that happens begins as a thought, and the easiest thing we can do is change our minds about something, wouldn't it stand to reason that we really do create our own reality?

I saw a bumper sticker yesterday, placed directly in the middle of the bumper on the car in front of me, that said "Die Tailgater Scum." It really got me thinking. What must be going on in the mind of the person who 1) purchased that sticker, 2) peeled off the backing, 3) placed it carefully on his bumper? What must be the reality that person is creating for himself?

Since yesterday I've been more mindful of bumper stickers, as well as T-shirts people choose to purchase and then wear or display.

What bumper stickers or T-shirts are you noticing? How are we all creating our own reality based on the perspective through which we see the world? Are the two related? Let me know what you notice!

Monday, February 13, 2006

Even More Connections

I wanted to tell you about an amazing conversation I had last week with two friends and colleagues ... but my new friend Kyle beat me to it (see his blog post for the scoop).

My friend Tim has a company in Chicago called Unleash Buzz, and he's all about word of mouth marketing on a soulful level. Tim will be speaking at the Institute for International Research's "Linking Customer Feedback to Business Results" conference in Florida at the end of February, and will be announcing something really big there related to word of mouth marketing (he couldn't tell me what, he just said it would be big).

You can get more information about the conference here.

In addition, Tim is a co-author in a book called "Walking With the Wise Entrepreneur." He's busy, but it's all good.

Kyle is doing great things, too. He's opening a place called the Idea Lounge where business people can come to get inspiration and brainstorm new solutions. He'll be conducting his Idea Lab experiments there, so watch for more information from him.

Even better, watch here for reports about our collaborations. As three "soul" proprietors, it will be fun to see what we can create together for our clients and for ourselves in order to be all we can be. My strengths are compounded when I'm working in collaboration with other like-minded people, so I'm excited to Unleash Buzz about all the Unlimited Options at the Bock's Office!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Standing at the Intersection of Spirituality and Business

I find myself today contemplating the possibility of integrating my spiritual practice with my business consulting on more of a deliberate level. I facilitated two very powerful programs last week with two fabulous clients and threw out some deeper questions to the crowds (each engagement involved around 170 or so people). I'm inspired to go this road partly because of what I'm seeing for my own life, and partly because of an article I read in Worthwhile Magazine a few months ago.

That May 2005 article by Danah Zohar, entitled "The Latest Q" pointed out how the world of work used to talk about a person's IQ, then we moved into the EQ or Emotional Intelligence. But now we're ready to talk about the SQ, or Spiritual Quotient in our workplaces.

The article highlights information from a book Zohar and Ian Marshall wrote called SQ: Connecting With Our Spiritual Intelligence and also Spiritual Capital: Wealth We Can Live By.

In the article Zohar says that in the business world today we are dominated by four negative motivations: fear, greed, anger and self-assertion. She says we need to move into the next five or six higher motivations. In order, they are: exploration, cooperation, personal integrity, sense of mastery, and servant leadership.

Although I would call them "inspirations" instead of "motivations," (see Lance Secretan's book Inspire! for more information about that), I wholeheartedly agree with Zohar's assessment.

I'm currently having conversations with current and potential clients about assessing their current level of SQ and then determining how we might move from the current level into another level, according to Zohar's list. She says very few people move through the entire list, but it's very important to get from the negative four to at least the exploration or cooperation levels.

How might we all - together - support each other in this shift? It doesn't have to be a HUGE shift ... just a small distinction can produce huge results.

Are you ready to join in this conversation? What are your ideas for taking this on in your own life? Identify where you might be at the level of fear, greed, anger and self-assertion within your business world and let's work together to first identify those areas and then move into exploration. I'll share what I'm noticing for myself and we'll take it from there.

Thanks for being with me on this journey!