Do You Care About Your Customers (End-Users)?

I just got off the phone, after at least 6 attempts, trying to reach a business who called me several times to discuss my account and marketing through them. What the person didn’t tell me is that the company is emailed-based. What the heck! If she had left this tidbit of information, I wouldn’t be so frustrated and irritated with them – doesn’t exactly make me want to continue with them.

 

This led me to wonder how often we don’t think about the end-user of our work, or the person who is benefiting from the product or service we provide. As I  do my work with clients who are very frustrated with their job, I always try to bring their focus back on who is really benefiting – are you doing the work for yourself or for someone else? This brings pause and takes the focus off of what they are not liking about the job to a more positive stance of ‘what can I do to make my work the best that I can to deliver the best to whomever is going to use it?’

Answering this question brings self-empowerment and taps into one’s intrinsic motivational needs of recognizing that ‘doing the right thing’ is the way to go.’ They take their focus off of the ‘lazy’ coworker who slows them down, to taking ownership and getting the work done. When we get in our ‘own space,’ it doesn’t allow us to see the bigger picture of why we are working; for some, that is just  paycheck or it’s for healthcare benefits. But we all have an inherent need to want to do the best we can and produce good work; focusing on the person who will receive your work helps with overall job satisfaction and higher performance and fulfill those needs.

 

Finding Your Career’Sweet Spot’

If you’re finding yourself questioning if you are in the right job or career, or perhaps you might just be starting out, then isn’t it time you figured it out? What is holding you back from making a decision – is it fear of disappointing someone (i.e. a parent or other family member, or yourself), fear of failing or not ‘making it,’ or an inability to fail? These are the three main reasons people don’t make a choice, although recognizing there are other circumstances.

Being afraid  won’t get you anywhere but where you are now, and the would, coulda, shoulda’s will eat you alive. Disappointing someone may not ever happen – you’re not a mind-reader; usually, the person won’t be as disappointed as if you never taking a stand. Failing is not the first choice we’d have but it happens; learning and living through is what gets us the end. I always am reminded of J. K Rowlings, of Harry Potter fame, who was rejected 12 times, while grieving the death of her mother, a failed marriage, and having to raise her daughter on her own.

She’s says of failure: “Failure meant a stripping way of the inessential….and I began to direct all my energies into finishing the only work that mattered to me.” Just like Ms. Rowlings, you can also push through and find the ‘sweet spot’ of your career and do the work that matters to you; this is the place that is an intersection between:

  1. What I like to do
  2. What I am good at
  3. Who will pay me (Wall, 2016)

It is when interests and abilities combine with job opportunities that are a match. Answering the three questions in depth, meaning you don’t leave any interest, skills, or abilities out as you never know themes that may emerge that you may ignore or attribute to ‘just coming naturally.’ The answers are the key to job satisfaction which then leads to higher involvement and performance.  If you are unsure of your career direction, the answers to the three questions above can be the way to find out; if you are in a job or career you enjoy, they will lend validation to your current choice. Taken control of your career now before it controls you by finding your career success.

If you’d like help with managing your career, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com

 

Pushing Through Adverse Situations

We’ve all had them  – situations that are stressful and/or seem insurmountable to the points we don’t know how to deal. This is a bit different than dealing with ‘bad days’ as I’ve addressed before. This is when one or several things happen that can derail not just a bad day, but a bad week. It seems then that more and more adverse situations keep occurring, ala Murphy’s Law (‘if anything bad can happen, it will) or ‘raining cats and dogs. It just seems that nothing goes right no matter the effort.

 

We have this mechanism in ourbrain, the Reticular Activating System (RAS), which is responsible and controls our belief system (in addition to sleep and wakefulness). When we develop a belief about something, it gets stored in the RAS and we will continue to have that belief whether positive or negative; it filters information and rates them by order of importance, determining which information gets the attention – so if you’ve ever heard that what we focus on is what we get, this is the reason.

Another added factor is the feeling we get when we think that thought, which can then make a bad day feel bad or a good day feel good. It’s really the negative thoughts and feelings we need to work to overcome so that a negative event is ‘not so bad’ and one to deal with and put to rest. However, the RAS can bring old past negative memories up which then can make the situation at hand not feel like the end of the world.

The way to push through is to recalculate the RAS, meaning to think more on the positive; a quick way to do this is to remember positive memories, which takes the focus off of any negatives; or thinking about times when you did make it through a bad day as it challenges any negative thoughts to show they are not real – they are the interpretation of an event on our part. We can certainly change our outlook and retell the story of any of our memories – change the RAS and you will change your life. It’s not easy but the more you choose to do so, the easier it becomes.

New Week, New Month – New Future

Happy May! This is the start of a new week and a new month – how optimistic do you feel? Your outlook determines the success you will have, mainly as it is the driver in taking action to make any success happen. If you feel iffy or fearful in some way, then you will hold yourself back from moving towards any goal you set; likewise, if you feel you can achieve anything – yep, you will. Mindset is everything: you can either think and feel positive or you will think and feel negative. The choice is yours.

That being said, I’m always a firm believer in starting over; just because something doesn’t work one time doesn’t mean it can’t a second (or third time – or more); it took J. K. Rowlings 43 times to submit her manuscript before it was accepted; Walt Disney was laughed at over his idea for Disney World, and even Einstein didn’t have immediate success with his Theory of Relativity. Point is – they did not give up. And you shouldn’t, either.

So, make today your ‘Do-Over Day’ – pull out all of those sheets of papers or notebooks that contain all your goals or things you want to do and see which make your heart race. Those are the ones you should not give up on. Once you’ve identified these goals, write them out with action words (i.e. I am achieving, I am working as a marketer, etc.) which the brain will naturally move towards that action, and then list specific tasks you think it will take to reach them. Determine what resources you need, i.e. time, money, support/people, etc. Now you can start taking one small step – not tomorrow or another day – NOW. You’re ready – just get to it. In the story of the tortoise and the hare, who won? The one who took the slow and steady course. So be a tortoise – GO!

It’s National Stress Awareness Month – How Do You Deal?

Although this is the last week of the month, April is recognized as National Stress Awareness Month. Stress is a leading factor to many health issues, along with emotional ones. Stress take its toll on both the mind and body and can have long-lasting effects if not dealt with.

images self defeat

First off, stress is not always bad as the name implies. Stress can actually be a catalyst which can propel one forward; it can identify a situation that has not been dealt with and be a challenge to overcome. Challenge stressors, such as those from the work load, are pressures from time, too much work, or needing to perform at a higher level; hindrance stressors result from being kept from reaching a goal, such as policies or procedures, systems, financial constraints, or office politics. (Robbins and Judge, 2016). It is when these overloads appear too much for one to handle that they overload one’s ability to deal with them. That is when stress leads to problems.

How one copes and deals can predict how effectively they handle stress – or how much. There are individuals who are able to handle a lot, but have good outlets to let their stress out, or they are willing to face the stressor; then, there are individuals who are willing to deal with a situation but hold their feelings in, eventually letting them out in some way; and then there are individuals who hold all of their feelings in for whatever reason (i.e. don’t like conflict, feel they need to be strong, etc.). The last two types will have problems, especially the last one who never deals with their feelings.

The key to effectively dealing with stress is to first be aware of the cause: another person, a situation we are faced with brought on by others, a situation we are faced with which we took on, either voluntarily or because we ‘have to, or from outside forces beyond our means. Once we are aware of the source of stress, it is important to slow down and analyze both the issue and possible solutions; slowing down can be challenging as the stress chemicals tend to ramp us up. Also, recognizing how you do, or do not deal, with stress and then having good outlets or ways to deal with life’s challenges will keep you healthy and happy.

Here are some ways to deal with stress you may have in your life; the more you use them, the easier and habit-forming they become so that any other stressors will not feel as terrifying as we think they are:

  • deep breathing (4-7-8 Rule)
  • progressive muscle relaxation
  • journaling
  • coloring
  • mindfulness (5 things I can see, 4 things I can feel, 3 things I can hear, 2 things I can smell, 1 thing I am safe with
  • gardening
  • physical exercise, i.e. walking, running, playing a sport, Zumba
  • dancing
  • meditation
  • practicing gratitude

These are just a few suggestions but can give you an idea of ways you can get calmer, refocused, and be more in control of your life and what happens within. Awareness is the key, so start paying attention to your physical symptoms, such as stomach problems (even butterflies in the stomach), headaches, back or other pain, restlessness, irritability, crying for no reason, or fatigue (to name a few) as this is the time to use one, or more, of these outlets to get calmer, which will then allow you to determine the best way to resolve the situation. The more you practice, the less stressed you will be, resulting in a happier life.

If you would like help in identifying your stressors and how to effectively deal with them, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com

He MadeWhat, Doing What??

If anyone says you only can make doing a job, don’t think of asking a man named Robert, who is a Professional Line Sitter – he’ll sit in the line you don’t want to, such as the DMV or to buy the latest iPhone – and makes $54,000; or how about Janet from California, a Mom blogger, making $150,000 by sharing her expertise to other Moms.

Yes, the second edition of What People Earn report came out and it’s eye-opening and shows how people are earning money (or not). As more and more companies are foregoing keeping long-term workers, there are many more options for people to create their own jobs, some of which can be called ‘on demand’ or contract/freelance work, or create their own companies. I don’t think there is any idea too bizarre or that wouldn’t work IF the marketing and promotion was done in a way that fits ‘right’ for the idea maker.

Take Herman from Baltimore, who has become a Street Corner Astronomer; Herman is 85 years old and invites pedestrians to share his love of stars and planets by looking through his telescope. Whatever Herman is doing – it’s working as he is making money ($6400). It may not sound like a lot but Herman is most likely getting Social Security payments and can’t make a certain income; but he is doing something that is novel and he loves.

Another profile is Jeremy who is an SEO Specialist, making $382,500; he is on the upper end of the scale but has created a profitable business helping businesses to get ranked online and get more traffic. They make more money and so does he. Robert has taken his love of surfing and now teaches others, making $17,000; he says  he loves his job “you get to share in the joy with them {clients}, which is the most rewarding aspect of my job.”

The report does not say how long each of these individuals have been in business, or if this is their full-time work, but I think they are inspirational and pursuing what they love, while taking their knowledge and experience for the greater good. It’s never too late to begin; it all starts with an idea which can easily be researched and worked on. It will soon become a necessity to stay in the workforce on some level.

If you’d like help to determine if your idea can be turned into a business idea, call today for a Complementary Discovery Session to find out.  http://www.cyscoaching.com

What People Earn Report Just Out

Every year I look forward to Parade’s annual issue of What People Earn. I first wrote about this back in April of 2012; back then, they did a then and now where income was reported for the same profession in two different time spans to see how things have changed. For example, a hotel desk clerk in Las Vegas was making $23,000 in 1993 where a Casino host was making $118,000 in 2012; a Funeral Director in Arkansas was making $45,000 in 1996 but their income increased to $101,500 in 2012; while a Tour Guide in South Carolina making $17,00 saw their income decrease to $7,200 in 2012.

I’ve written every year so here is the update this year; I don’t like to relay information on celebrities or sports figures so here are what ‘real people’ (every day ‘Joe’s) are earning (some are encouraging while others discouraging):

  • Brandon, Magician – $25,000
  • Matt, Chimney Sweep – $76,845
  • Hilary, Professional Hockey Player – $22,000
  • Karen, Field Rep for the U.S. Census Bureau – $22,000
  • Lori, Esthetician and Waxing Specialist – $58,884
  • Donald, Corrections Officer (FL) – $36,000
  • Paul, Dairy Farmer (VT) – $10,000
  • Edward, Automotive Sales (MO) – $103,000
  • Michelle, YouTube Personality and Beauty  – $3million
  • Samantha, Romance Novelist – $34,400
  • Christina, High School Cafeteria Worker (PA) – $4,636
  • Brian, Attorney (Boston) $875,000
  • Bryan, Parole & Probation Investigator (MD) – $61,130

I think there is some hope in salaries but in looking at some of these, there are some glaring disparities.  It gives pause as to why some career paths are more valued than others; how much does gender or parts of the country affect the differences in pay: these are questions that the survey does not answer. I look at a chimney sweep who is doing a job that others don’t want to do, as well the magician and think ‘they must be promoting themselves well’ – or are they? Could they do a better job of this, as Michelle the YouTube personality has done? How could the Romance Novelist increase her income and why would the farmer or cafeteria worker stay in jobs that don’t pay a lot of money?

The bottom line is that a career is for life and it is what you make it to be. It starts with doing research on both the self an the industries, it’s about going after what ignites your passions and needs.And it’s about how you think about the work, which do have the ability to do so one way or the other.

Here is what Paul, the Farmer had to say: “I always dreamed about starting a farm. Building a successful business in the Northeast Kingdom has been a great experience.” Edward the Car Salesman says “What I enjoy most about being in auto sales is helping people (or families) realize their dream.” While Christina the Cafeteria worker said “I love the interaction with faculty and students. I treat kids like they are my own.”

These people are have a fulfilled passion, or at least have identified what it is they like about their jobs, which does not always equate to money. All of these individuals have focused on the end results of the work they do; one to help people eat better, one to put people in cars they dream of, while the last enjoys the interactions with both faculty and students. It’s always important to evaluate what is your driving force and how you feel about your work and why you do what you do. I’ll be anxious for next week as the second part of the report will be released so stay tuned!

If you’d like to explore and enhance your career, contact us today to get started: http://www.cyscoaching.com for a Complementary Discovery Session

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