Friday, May 26, 2006

Believe It When You See It - or The Other Way Around?

I'm thinking today about thinking. Interesting concept, huh? How often do we really stop and think about the way we think? How might the way we think about things really have an impact on the way we see the world?

I've been listening to Wayne Dyer and also to Deepak Chopra recently, and they have been talking about how our beliefs really do shape our reality. Deepak, who is a medical doctor, was telling a story about a fellow doctor friend of his who was a heavy smoker (this was a few years ago when many more people smoked). Deepak said his friend was always coughing and Deepak suggested that he get a chest X-ray just to make sure he was OK. His friend refused. One day Deepak said his friend was coughing profusely, and Deepak dragged him in to get a chest X-ray and it revealed a coin-sized spot on his lung. Deepak said within a week his friend was coughing blood, and within a month he died.

Deepak went back and checked in his friend's medical file and found an X-ray that had been taken five years before and there was the coin-sized spot - no different than it was on the last X-ray. What Deepak concluded was that his friend didn't die of cancer, but died of the diagnosis. What he knew of cancer was that it was a death sentence and he proved himself right. Wow.

Wayne wrote a book a while ago called "You'll See It When You Believe It," about how the way we think can really help us see the world through those eyes. I've written before about how that has happened in my own life ... how many times have you been thinking about someone or something and all of a sudden that person calls or shows up in your space, or the thing you were thinking about comes into your view? We call that coincidence or luck but what if there really is more to it than that?

If we can start to see that whatever shows up in our lives is a result of the way we are thinking, what would that mean to the voices in our heads that are masquerading as the "victim" and the "villain"?

I don't know about you, but this shift in my thinking has caused an amazing shift in the way the world is occurring to me. When I started thinking about this, I discovered that I don't have any negative friends; I don't have depressing conversations with people; I don't really have too many complaints in my life. At first I thought that was just a lucky phenomenon until I started examining the work I've been doing on myself over the past couple of years. I started noticing that as I shifted my attitude, things started shifting around me. Now I look for positive things in my life and that's exactly what I see.

On the one hand it seems almost amazing ... but on the other hand, isn't this the way it should be for all of us? Shouldn't life be wonderful and peaceful and supportive of us? Wouldn't that be a better space for all of us to exist inside of? What would you be freed up to be if you didn't have the worries and stresses in your life?

I met a new friend a couple of weeks ago who told me that she has worked hard all her life to save money. In her words, she said she has been a "hoarder" and one night she figured out that she had enough money socked away so that she could live for the rest of her life without working. Wow - that's pretty freeing! She went to sleep that night with all kinds of exciting ideas in her head ... and then she bolted awake three hours later and went back to her checkbook and discovered - to her horror - that she had the decimal point in the wrong place, and she wasn't financially independent like she thought she was three hours earlier.

The good news is that during those three hours of freedom, she had all kinds of new thoughts about how she would live her life without constraints - and she remembered what they were. Nothing had changed in the universe in those three hours - but in her mind they had and her thought process allowed all kinds of new energy into her space. Although she didn't have the money she thought she had, she still had the ideas and the thoughts and she committed to staying on that path and living that way in spite of the reality. And she's seeing a lot of those ideas come to fruition in her life just because she intended them.

What are your thoughts producing in your life? Where might you be able to see something different by thinking it that way? Try it - and let me know what shows up in your space!

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

Update on The 100% Factor

Well, I promised I would let you know what's happening with my book, so here's the latest.

For those of you who might not know about the book project, it's called The 100% Factor: Living Your Capacity. Here's a little bit from the back cover:

"How many of us can say that we are living our capacity? Potential is somewhere off in the future. But all we really have is today. So if we’re living in someday, we’re living in potential. The 100% Factor will inspire people at any stage of their lives to consider the opportunities they can create when they re-examine their capacity – and become mindful about how much of that capacity their choose to bring – to work, to relationships, to families."

And here's the latest progress: I have a cover design and I have an ISBN number! Jennifer Munson at 2 J's Graphic Design has done a great job with the overall look and feel of the book.

In addition, I've gotten endorsements from two of my favorite leadership authors: Lance Secretan and Steve Farber! You can peruse the links on the right to see two books from each of these guys on my recommended reading list.

Here's what they have to say about the book:

“The hunger to experience spirit in the workplace is gaining the force of a movement. The old story of leadership will no longer satisfy this hunger. Followers—employees—are coming to work with a new set of expectations. The 100% Factor provides a place where today’s capacity rather than tomorrow’s potential can become the basis for those new conversations.” - Dr. Lance Secretan, Author, Inspire! What Great Leaders Do and ONE: The Art and Practice of Conscious Leadership

The 100% Factor gives us a simple, inspiring method for turning conventional wisdom into effective practice. It doesn’t matter if you ‘know’ this stuff; the question is are you doing it? Jodee Bock will show you how.” -Steve Farber, Author, The Radical Leap: A Personal Lesson in Extreme Leadership and The Radical Edge: Stoke Your Business, Amp Your Life, and Change the World

Our buddy Phil has given me some great ideas for marketing the book, especially since he just got back from the Book Expo. Here's what Phil has to say about The 100% Factor:

The 100% Factor challenges us all to think about what our 100% is...and how we can best put that to use. With honest, easy to understand ‘reality checklists,’ this book is a must-read for all people envious of others. Stop living to others' capacity...increase your own! Read The 100% Factor today and use it to change your thinking and your life!” - Phil Gerbyshak, motivational speaker and author of 10 Ways to Make It Great!

I also have a "Coming Soon" site at Right now it looks pretty sparse (and really small!) but as I get closer to getting the book done, that site will be updated with more information.

If you'd like to read an excerpt of the book and help me promote it, I would be eternally grateful! Let me know and I'll make it available to you.

PR is Gold for Small Businesses

If you've ever wondered how to get publicity for your small business, Duct Tape Marketing guru John Jantsch gives some great advice in the current issue of the Duct Tape Marketing newsletter.

WARNING: If you visit the site, don't be overwhelmed. There is a LOT of information here and also a lot of selling of the Duct Tape Marketing resources. We shouldn't be surprised since that's what we can learn to do for ourselves, but just be prepared.

Here is an excerpt from the story:

Minor PR Story Starters
How To Get Just a Little PR so you Get a Lot

Use the following questions to help you brainstorm for potential PR topics. One of the surest ways to get more media coverage is to get some media coverage. Start small, but be consistent. It is a good practice to attempt to get some form of coverage every month. The more successful you are in terms of sheer volume of coverage, the easier it is to get full-length feature coverage. Is that Oprah on the phone!

*Have there been any personnel changes, promotions or additions in your firm?
*Have you taken on a new partner?
*Are you planning to expand your operations?
*Have you landed a significant new project or customer?
*Are you conducting educational seminars?
*Have employees completed industry apprenticeship or certification?
*Are you planning to speak at a professional organization's meeting?
*Have you, or anyone on your staff, received an award in your industry?
*Has a trade association cited you for excellence?

You can read the entire story here.

And, speaking of PR and business, I recently purchased a new book called "Book Yourself Solid" by Michael Port. Although I haven't read it entirely yet, it looks to be a really good resource for getting new clients. According to the book jacket:
"Book Yourself Solid is based on Michael Port's proven system for getting more clients. And it works. In fact, ninety-three percent of business owners who have used the system have experienced a thirty-four percent increase in their total number of clients and a forty-two percent increase in sales in the first year alone."

You can find more information at his website.

Monday, May 22, 2006

What's Toxicity Got to Do With Leadership?

I had the honor of being a guest on Greg Balanko-Dickson's and Phil Gerbyshak's No Bullshit Leadership podcast on Sunday night - what a blast!

Phil wasn't able to host on Sunday as he was just returning from the International Book Expo in Washington, DC (check out his reports from the convention here). Greg and I spent almost an hour discussing leadership, education, coaching, business relationships, mentoring, and blogging, among other things. I've always had this secret desire to be a talk-show host, so this was a really fun venture for me!

Both Greg and I shared quotes that you might find interesting. Here's mine:

“When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. You look for reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like the lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and argument. That is my experience. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change.” -Thich Nhat Hahn

And here's Greg's:

“It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbled or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena; whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; who knows the great enthusiasms, the great devotions and spends himself on a worthy cause; who at best, knows in the end the triumph of high achievement; and who at worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place will never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.” - Theodore Roosevelt

Let me know what you thought of the podcast - or contact Greg with your comments. Watch for some exciting news from Greg in the near future about his ideas for making a difference in the world.

He's a very inspiring guy - and when he and Phil are together ... LOOK OUT! You can't help but have a GREAT day!!

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Is Your Environment Causing Your Workplace Stagnation?

This topic has been one of particular interest to me ever since I can remember, but has been especially intriguing recently because of my work with SolutionPeople in Chicago.

The May 2006 issue of Training magazine features an article called "Innovate or Die Trying." In this article SolutionPeople’s creative learning space (the Thinkubator) is featured in a segment called “Think Outside the Office."

The article references SolutionPeople's “4 Ps of sPace Design” model that has been used to create the Thinkubators in Chicago and Ann Arbor as well as innovative facilities for Lucent, Capital One and the Singapore Service Quality Center.

According to Gerald "Solutionman" Haman, the four P's of innovative environments are: the personal space, partnership space, public space, and personal computer (PC) space. Each of these areas, he says, serves a key purpose in the creativity process.

To read the article, click here.

I've been intrigued with the concept of space design since my early days in Corporate America when the most creative place we could come up with for an off-site meeting in our small community was at a hotel. I'm convinced that, as this article shows, more creative thinking can emerge if the environment is one that supports new thinking.

Watch for more on this topic. I'm doing some idea generation regarding my own selfish need for a new spot to get creative work done. Where do you do your most creative work? Let's share ideas here!

Monday, May 15, 2006

What I Learned from Forrest

I had the honor of being the featured speaker at a Mothers and Others banquet at a church in my hometown of Lisbon, North Dakota over the weekend. What a great group - and so much fun to be in the presence of friends and even relatives. My mom was in the audience, and it was the first time she's heard me speak, so that was pretty special, especially since it was a Mother's Day event.

My speech was all about what I learned from Forrest Gump (see my 2004 post about my encounter with Forrest). (And by the way - I'm the one on the right in the photo!)

What I learned from Forrest was that I used to be a lot more like Donald Trump in my business life (and my personal life, really) than like Forrest Gump (see Worthwhile's take on this comparison in the article "Is Power More Trump or Gump?" on page 39 of the current issue).

Where Trump is much more ego-based, Gump is much more spirit-based. The beauty of Gump's life is that the results speak for themselves, even when he might not be aware of the effects.

Where Trump is more dynamic (he's much more about DOING), Gump is more magnetic (he's much more about BEING) (see my 2005 post about Magnetic vs. Dynamic leadership). Where Trump's intentions involve a lot of FEAR (isn't "You're Fired" something most businesspeople dread hearing?), Gump's intentions are all about LOVE.

That encounter with Forrest Gump really did change the way I saw myself - both in my business life and my personal life.

It was fun to share those thoughts with my hometown folks. Thanks for the opportunity, Lisbon!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Wonderful World of Self-Publishing

Thanks to some amazing and supportive friends, I've officially entered the realm of self publishing. I say officially, because I got my ISBN number and bar code this week, so that must make it real!

My book is called The 100% Factor: Living Your Capacity and I'll fill you in on the progress as I go along. I'll also give you a snippet of the book in the next post so you can start spreading the word for me. Watch for the website as soon as the cover is designed, too!

If it weren't for the fabulous help and support from Maryanna Young, one of the masterminds behind Don't Miss Your Boat, the book which I co-authored, I would never have taken this leap.

If you're at all interested in becoming an author, you need to check out Maryanna's latest project: Blank to Book: From Idea to Amazon in 150 Days. It was through this resource, as well as another book she gave me called The Publishing Game, that I was able to even consider getting my own idea into an actual book.

So here's where it stands right now: I've got most of the manuscript completed (will be meeting with one of my readers/editors this afternoon), have sent it to a couple of people to ask for their endorsement (I'll let you know how that goes), I've got the domain name reserved, the cover and inside are being designed even as I write this, and I've sent the specs out for printing bids, and am just waiting for all of them to come back.

Speaking of printing bids, Maryanna also turned me on to Printellectual where I was able to submit the specs one time and am supposed to receive 16 bids. So far I've gotten 4 back, and they're all pretty consistent.

Phil Gerbyshak also told me about a couple of other options for self-publishing, including Dog Ear and Lulu. Lulu is great if you're just planning on printing a couple of books. The cool thing about Lulu is that you send people to their website to purchase your book and they print and ship it for you. They keep 20% and you keep 80%. It might be an option if my book becomes wildly successful ... but of course by then I'll have a publisher seek me out, right? :)

Stay tuned for further updates!

Thursday, May 04, 2006

What's All the To-Do about Squidoo?

I ran into an old friend the other day while dipping my toe into the world of Squidoo (thanks again to the Make It Great Guy, Phil Gerbyshak). It turns out when you register at Squidoo, you get a welcome e-mail from none other than Heath Row, the former Company of Friends coordinator and Social Capitalist over at Fast Company magazine.

I used to be the coordinator of the Fargo chapter of Company of Friends until the company dwindled to just me. But I still recognized Heath's name when it popped up. And the really funny part of that is that he e-mailed me today to tell me that a friend of his lives in Fargo and he wanted me to know that he was going to have her contact me. What a small, small world it really is!

So, on to this whole Squidoo thing.

I'm still not really sure what it's all about. According to the Squidoo FAQ section,

A lens is one person's view on a topic that matters to her. It's an easy-to-build, single web page that can point to blogs, favorite links, RSS feeds, Flickr photos, Google maps, eBay auctions, CafePress designs, Amazon books or music, and thousands of products from hundreds of other trusted merchants. You can pick whatever content you want to put in your lens to bring context to your topic. Then, when someone is looking for recommended information, fast, your lens gets his started and sends him off in the right direction. It's a place to start, not finish.

I do know that some of the topics of some of the lenses out there are a little more than I need to know (I never really felt old until I looked at the Top 100 Lenses ... wow!).

But when Seth Godin talks about Squidoo, there must be something to it. I do know that it's generating a TON of web traffic (this comparison between Squidoo and Ford Motor on this chart from Seth's e-book "Flipping the Funnel").

So I'm out there - you can find both of my lenses here. Let me know what you think!


Does that have you humming "Strangers in the Night?" It did that for me, strangely.

But what I'm really reminded of is the distinction between "doing" and "being."

Phil pointed me to a blog post by Lisa Haneberg which really got me thinking. Lisa writes about making a "To-Be" list instead of a "To-Do" list. And isn't that really where we've got it all backwards?

What happened to us? How did we wake up one morning and it was ten years later? How have we let ourselves get to this place? I think it's because we've been so focused on those "To-Do" lists that we forgot how "To-Be."

Here's Shakespeare's take on that whole concept from Hamlet:

To be, or not to be: that is the question:
Whether 'tis nobler in the mind to suffer
The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune,
Or to take arms against a sea of troubles,
And by opposing end them.

Is it better to BE in the mind or to take arms and DO something? I think there’s a time and a place for both … the question really is WHEN to do and WHEN to be.

Lance Secretan has a similar idea in his book Inspire. He calls it the Why-Be-Do model and this makes so much sense to me as a Life Purpose and Career Coach.

He says its about Destiny (WHY am I here) which leads us to Cause (How will I BE - what will I stand for) which leads us to Calling (What will I DO).

When we get that figured out, we might consider rethinking our need to HAVE things in order to DO more in order to BE happy.

Just choose happy and the pursuit of happiness will stop being your goal. You'll have more time to BE happy or content or peaceful or whatever it is you want to BE.

Just start by noticing your breathing. Taking a deeper breath when you think about it will allow you to DO something that yields more BEING. Let me know what you notice. It's made a WORLD of difference in my life and I invite you to take on Lisa's challenge!