When To Say Yes to the Unknown

Over the weekend, I had an opportunity to chat with a friend I hadn’t spoken to in a long time. He has spent the last several years in working in marketing for a company that makes metal fasteners. It’s been a solid, steady, and secure job. So when he told me he was moving to a new city to take a job in an early stage company, I was really surprised. Not that he isn’t capable, I just thought he would be too risk averse to make such a move.

When I asked him why this role with so many new, unknown, and uncertain aspects to this move, he chuckled. “Anita,” he said. “Believe me, I have asked myself this question and so many more. I realized that you come to a point in life where the bigger question was, ‘why not?’ so I am jumping in with both feet based on lots of thought and analysis.”

Saying Yes to the unknown can be the absolutely the right thing to so – if you are ready, willing, and prepared. Do your homework first, draw conclusions, and decide from there.

Have a great week,


The Greatness Premium

Last night on the bus home, I ran into a friend. He is one of those people who makes you smile, feel appreciated, and happy when you see him. Yesterday was no exception. After the preliminary hellos, we jumped into what was going on with each of us.

I was blown away by all of the progress he is making with an accelerator that’s starting in Chicago and is expanding to other parts of the world. He is the real deal – brilliant, creative, and humble. This is why so many people want to know him and work with him.

He hard work, generosity of spirit, and creating value for all parties involved in his enterprises makes him great and I am honored to know him.

Have a great day,

Autopilot Power

Last night, I was feeling like eating when I wasn’t really hungry. I know that many of you can relate to this. It was after 9 0’clock and as I was about to head to the kitchen, I stopped. It wasn’t one of those – call in the WILLPOWER moments. I actually had a great deal of resistance to getting a snack.

Then it dawned on me: my autopilot had kicked in. Now I usually think of my autopilot leading to things I don’t really want to do – like eating too many cookies. The autopilot at work last night was the result of a babystep I took back in November of 2012 when I decided not to eat after 9 p.m. (unless I was out at a special activity). It was so easy, that I was able to feel successful from the start.

So last night when I wanted to eat late, no willpower was required. The babystep which turned into a habit guided me with almost no effort.

If you want to make a change, take a teeny tiny step that you can absolutely do today. Do it again and again. Then when you need the positive power of your autopilot, it’s nearly guaranteed that you will win.

Have a great day,

When to Give Up

I spoke to a friend over the weekend and she was sharing with me a major decision point in her life. She had committed several years to a career that she used to love, but didn’t anymore. My friend is one of those finance types who is a whiz at accounting, financial statements, and acquisitions. Well, no longer.

That said, she was having a hard time saying no to her old career and yes to a new one. It’s totally understandable after such an investment (on her part) of time, sacrifices, and money (for her education).

The other aspect was that she felt like she was giving up – and in a sense, she is. Yet there is a big difference is rolling over and quitting and choosing another path.

My friend is doing just that. She is making the changes incrementally – in BabySteps -so she can manage the process and her state-of-mind.

Best regards,


Conclusion Jumping

Last week, I was an advisor to two groups of people who were contemplating joining forces to launch a community-based project. This project has the potential to serve a group of children and young adults who have very limited resources. At first, the two sides were rather far apart on how they viewed each other and as a result were jumping to conclusions that served no one.

I asked a lot of questions to help them see the other’s point of view. Once much of the conclusion jumping stopped, they found areas of agreement, the project is moving forward.

There is a reason conclusion jumping rarely helps. The real value is in taking a step back, finding out a bit more about the people, situation, and circumstances. Time, listening, and patience can take you far.

Have a great week,

Connections With Value and Without Strings

I was chatting with someone today who was in from out of town. I have only met him once in person, the rest by phone. It was wonderful to see how much progress he has made and the degree to which he has focus, commitment, and a sense of purpose.

When I first spoke to him, he was a bit uncertain about the value he could bring to an employer, where he wanted to go, and concrete steps he could take. While very capable, he was filled with uncertainty, procrastination, and a bit of self-doubt on the side.

The best part of all was seeing what he had done with my suggestions of people with whom to chat – and the deep level of appreciation he has for each contact, person, and the time. As we were finishing up our meeting, he thanked me again and asked how he could help others. The flow of connections had come full circle: I helped him without asking anything in return and he is offering to help others without expecting anything more.

I have come realize, yet again, that when I give value to others without expecting anything in return that beneficial things flow back.

Have a great weekend,