When to Pivot for Success

There is a delicate balance between staying the course no matter what and shifting gears when it looks like it’s the right thing to do.

On the one hand, focus, determination, and tenacity are key to success. On the other hand, if you hang on to what has always worked and no longer is, you could miss an important opportunity.

There is no one formula, model, or framework to let you know which is better: persist with massive amounts of resolve or let go and being ready for the best next option. That said, there are some clues – fear, boredom, and impatience are NOT reasons to give up.

Just a thought.

Have a great day,


Happy Thanksgiving 2015

While I have many things to be thankful for you encouragement, support, and feedback means a lot to me. For those of you in the U. S., Happy Thanksgiving and for all a BIG THANK YOU.

Enjoy your weekend.

“See” you on Monday,

Advancement or Perfection?

I was meeting with someone this week and he has been very busy with a project. It is a very exciting project and couldn’t wait to hear his update. Yet, when he shared his comings and goings since we chatted six months earlier, I felt let down. He had spent the entire six month brainstorming ways to make it even better, tweak it, and tweak it some more.

To be perfectly honest, my reaction could have be a bit of self-frustration – because I have a tendency to do exactly what he did. I like to keep my options open, reactivate the creative process, and revise, revise, revise. That said, last year I made the commitment to choose one area of focus for 2015 – and I have kept that promise (even when I wanted to do something newer) and it’s paid off. I have had fun with my focus / project, gained traction, and implemented phase 1. All good and for 2016, I actually want to take my 2015 project – and not redo it, but to move it ahead even more.

I couldn’t have done it without a whole number of people who are very important to me. THANK YOU!!!

Consider your goals from 2015 and see how you can continue to advance with them before 1.1.2016.

Have a great day,

Send Goodwill

When individuals aren’t nice to us, the natural reaction is return their unpleasantness back to them as quickly and assertively as possible.

Unfortunately, this is completely wrong. All this approach does is create a spiral of negativity.

Instead, send goodwill sincerely, authentically, and specifically. Even if the other person doesn’t change, you will feel better (as long as you avoid feeling self-righteous and arrogant).

Have a good day,

Choose Success

One HUGE success stopper is having great ideas, multiple projects, and yet not selecting one and acting on it. Someone once said to me: “Don’t be afraid to choose one thing. It’s for now, not forever.” His words ring true today more than ever.

If you are waiting to find the perfect, idea, business, or partner, of course consider what you might lose by choosing one today AND what you could gain if you do.

Enjoy the weekend,

What “Can’t” Really Means

When I lived in the Bay Area, one of mentors chastised me for the two-word response “I can’t.” Whatever he requested at the time, my “I can’t” response seemed accurate. I was new to the working world and I didn’t believe what I could do what was asked of me – I just didn’t have the knowledge, skills, or experience. I was overwhelmed with the task presented to me.

Yet, these deficiencies didn’t phase my mentor one bit. He told me (in no uncertain terms) that “I can’t” was completely inaccurate. “I won’t” was really the truth. This gave me pause. Had I given up before I even started? With more thought, I realized that I didn’t want to fail and defaulting to “I can’t” which gave me an out – although not a very powerful one.

So the next time you feel like you want to say “I can’t,” pause and see if you could actually take a step. That said, if you really don’t want to do something, then consider saying, “I won’t” – but do so with an understanding of the repercussions personally, professionally, and financially.

Have a great day,

Include Success

I was chatting with someone today and he continually plans for setbacks, obstacles, and failures. I encouraged him to also plan for success.

Include success in your thoughts, words, and actions!

Have a great day,

Success With No Head Banging Required

I was chatting with someone recently who is looking for a job back in the U.S., yet she hasn’t been able to get to the interview stage. She was both stymied and discouraged when we had our conversation. It became obvious that even though this woman thought we was asking for advice, she left the impression that she didn’t really want to get to know the other person UNLESS there was the possibility of a job TODAY.

Clearly, this wasn’t working. “I feel like I’m banging my head against the wall and getting a headache!” she exclaimed. I told her that head banging is not required. She laughed, left, and decided to take a breath, and ask questions from others that were non-threatening and easy for them to answer.

One more note: she began to look for ways to help others and started to develop relationships that were sincerely and mutually supportive.

Have a great day,

Critical Success Transformation

I was chatting with a friend who was advancing very nicely and then his growth stalled out – which greatly (and understandably) frustrated him. At first (and very naturally), he wanted to look for reasons in others, organizations, and the circumstances for why he wasn’t progressing. As he shared this with me, he realized that he had influence, but no control over others and even his company and the situation. This was pivotal for him getting unstuck.

My friend began to look for what he could control – like his behavior, attitude, and actions. As he did, he felt empowered and began to take on more challenging things – focusing on transforming himself from the inside.

He recently sent me an update: his success is growing again and he is really thrilled.

So glad, my friend. It takes courage to assume responsibility and make the not so easy changes within your heart and mind first.

Have a great day,

Turning the Tide

I have been in touch with a long-time friend who moved out of Chicago after he completed his graduate degree many years ago. We reconnect periodically and pick up where we left off. I really like this friend – A LOT. So, when we recently reached out I was delighted to hear from him.

He immediately started to explain why he has been out of touch for so long. Not to go into the details, but he has had a really hard time in the last few years – from career to health to family. Nothing seemed to go right for him. That said, his voice was strong, vibrant, and full of energy. His story and his presence didn’t seem to match. When I asked him about it, he told me that while those few years were horrible, he found a nugget of hope. Once he discovered this, he was able to dig deeper and find even more.

I am very proud of you, my friend and so glad we have stayed in touch all this time.