Are You Ready for the Big Prize?

Over the last several years, I have contemplated, written down, and planned for something that I have wanted to accomplish. Just thinking about it makes me giddy.

In the last couple of months, I have shared my wish, hope, and intention about this endeavor. I find it a bit intimidating to do so, but also exciting.

Well, last week I was given the opportunity to expand in ways that match my aspirations. At first, it looked like I was going backwards and that did not make me happy. That said, with a bit of perspective  and some fine guidance, I realize what a golden opportunity I have. I am moving  ahead – confidently and happily.

My Lesson: Be open to the Big Prize or you could just miss it!

Have a great day,


The Encouragement Ripple

Years ago, one of my mentors told me that the most important thing that I will ever do is encourage others.

I smiled, but didn’t see how this could be true. He must have recognized my puzzlement and continued, “Anita, it’s like this. You share an experience where you transformed a challenging situation and the person in front of you has renewed hope, determination, and tenacity. That person will likely achieve something that will be encouraging to another person – and the ripple can continue through the end of time.”

I got it: one piece of encouragement is not just one act – it has almost an infinite multiplier.

Go out and encourage.

Have a great day,

Rut Busters: Are You Ready?

I was chatting with someone in January. He was feeling stuck in a rut. While this is not an uncommon dilemma, my friend was deeply troubled by his lack of personal and professional advancement.

Then the BIG question bubbled up in my brain and I just had to ask him: “So what do you want to do and how will this lead to your great advancement?”

Dead silence.

“Oh, that could be part of the problem,” he laughed a bit with discomfort in his voice.

As we chatted more, my friend admitted that he knows what he wants but was too afraid to say it out loud. Been there, done that and I know many people who could join that club.

To my friend’s credit, he is taking Babysteps and slowly climbing out of the rut.

Are you ready?

Have a great day,

The Unifying Power of Purpose

Periodically, I go back and review the purpose I wrote for myself when I was very early in my career. Here it is: To learn and share what I learn with others in ways that encourages them to realize their goals and dreams.

As I began to review my purpose statement this week, I was struck by how is it as relevant today as it was two decades ago. I can fulfill my purpose by singing a new song and then teaching it to my two-year old niece, mastering a new audio recording tool and using it for the podcast series I host and produce at work, or reading a book on negotiation and help a student or alum at Chicago Booth excel in his or her offer negotiation for a dream job.

While the specific goals and ways I actualize my purpose have changed over the years, how my purpose guides my direction is as powerful today as it was back then.

Have a great weekend,

Pay Attention

I was chatting with a friend earlier this week about an unexpected turn of events. He was a bit taken aback and actually upset about the whole thing. When I asked him why, he paused and smiled. The stress vanished from his face and he shared that the new opportunity that presented itself was exactly what he wanted.

Paying attention to what you want and need – and changes (planned or otherwise) can be a big time win if you are open to them.

Thanks for the insight, my friend.

Have a great day,

Clarity Trumps So Much

It’s amazing how much a little clarity can help you in both getting things done and the granular feedback to help you do anything excellently!

Have a great day,

Respect Starts With You

Yesterday I was torn between doing something that I wanted to do for myself and something that I needed to do for others. While the two are not mutually exclusive, it was not possible for me to be two places at the same time. In this case, I chose myself first (rather unusual for me).

Once I made that commitment, some really surprising things happened for which I could not have planned. In the end, I did what I wanted to do for myself and was able to deliver what I needed to do for others – with the help of my friend and special messenger.

Have a great day,

Do You Have Enough Courage

I have been thinking a lot about the focus of my next book – and I am pulled in two different directions.

The first is an obvious one: focus on practical, prescriptive advice about things I know really well and were I have a network of people who can be co-authors/collaborators. The topics can be from steps to craft a compelling story to making a successful career change. From the research I have done, there are some gaps in the market that my brain trust and I could fill.

The second is more nuanced, less clear cut, and yet has powerful implications. The topic is  about how people transform  challenging situations into outcomes that are clearly beneficial.

Which avenue is best? Talking to people, the opinions are split. I have come to the conclusion that it all comes down to courage.

Will meditate more on this and get back to you.

Have a great weekend,

Your Career Success is Waiting for You

I was meeting with an old friend today who is incredibly excited about the next step in his career. I have never seen him so certain about where he wants to be and where he can make a substantial contribution.

You may think: “I bet this guy has had it easy and now he is just cruising into an easy path.”

No disrespect, but you would be completely wrong, Here is a person who has gone through an avalanche of professional challenges from being caught in a employer’s company scandal to completely losing his career during the financial meltdown in 2008 and selling groceries to have money to feed his family.

Today, I saw someone who is taking all of the setbacks and bundling them to a portfolio of skills and experiences that can help many others.

Way to go, friend!

Have a great day,

The Magic of Thank You

I was chatting with a friend the other day and he was talking about something that rock his professional world and made his rise above the competition. What is this miracle strategy? No innovative wonder at all. It was a simple “Thank You” – in person, handwritten note, or even a tweet. The act of genuine appreciation is rare and can give you an edge in virtually any area of your life.

Thanks for reading this,