Gift-giving and the Law of Attraction

 

So very often gifts become a channel for showing off rather than connecting genuinely. We are tempted to pretend we are doing better than we are or tempted to show off how well we are doing by giving clients and colleagues extravagant gifts. To what end? Spending money unwisely is simply “Gobbling the Marshmallow”  as a colleague, Dr. Joachim de Posada would say in his popular Marshmallow books.

 

And another thing… A pet peeve of mine is giving gifts as an avenue to have others walk around with items emblazoned with our logo. Is this really a thank you gift? Nope. It’s advertising.

 

Not that there’s anything wrong with advertising. It’s okay to give logoed items as advertisement as long as this is transparent. I sit here typing, sipping hot tea from one of my favorite mugs with a logo discreetly displayed. This travel mug was given to my by a friend, Achim Nowak of Influens as a year end gift of appreciation to clients and contributors. Great gift.

 

When did we lose that sense of civility and let ourselves be enticed into giving gifts with mixed intent? The best gifts of all are priceless: 1. keep our promises, 2. give credit where credit is due, and 3. remember to share the wealth, inviting abundance with a generous spirit and effective referrals.

 

Cheers!

Business Ethics with Referrals

 

In tough financial times, its easy for business folk to fall into the habit of taking on every client and project even when they and the client would be best served with a perfect referral.

 

The perfect referral is good for business and the greater good. It builds credibility for our businesses, our reputations, and trust with our clients and colleagues.

 

So… Why don’t we refer?

Ego, jealousy, fearfulness, stinginess… The reasons are many. It’s best to have faith in ourselves and in our clients that they recognize what we have to offer without having to take on clients or projects that are outside of our sweet spot of expertise, too much for the targeted time period, or simply not our cup of tea. Being all things to all people is a great way to disappoint others and to reach for great mediocrity.

 

It’s a sign of abundance and wisdom to make that perfect referral. So, build those relationships, strengthen your business, and reach for the success that you have fostered so thoughtfully.

 

Refer for success. Who’s on your list?

Cheerios, Dog Hair, and Sand

 

Looking at my car, I decided that there are three things I always want in my car. For me, these are a sign of happiness, of a life well-lived. What are yours?

 

As a young mother I used to lament my inability to vacuum up all the escaped Cheerios from my daughters, Jess and Kate’s, car seats. The Cheerios seemed to spontaneously generate and come up after enthusiastic vacuum jobs or just in mid-sentence. Now, as a happy grandmother, I cherish those Cheerios that root themselves in the fabric of my car after transporting my youngest grand girl, Taryn.

 

Second and third are dog hair and sand. These two go hand-in-hand. What good is a life without either? After my friend Achim bought his second convertible, we went to the beach. As we parked near the beach, he commented that he always wished to have sand in his car. I agree. What a great thing it is to have a beach nearby, have the energy to play in it, and the wisdom to visit it often. True joy.

 

The dog hair, for me is bittersweet. My old girl, Mandy Dog, died some year ago. I hated getting rid of my Thunderbird convertible for many reasons. One of these was that they still held the promise of finding Mandy Girl’s hair here and there at times unexpected. I wax poetic. Dog hair, for me, represents having a great dog and close loved ones to share her.

 

These days, I content myself to enjoy my Danny’s Abu and DJ’s Bruno; Jess, Taryn, and Kaite’s Milk; Jerry’s Ace; Elena’s Jack; and Kathy’s Rufus and Ruby. Still my dog days lay happily before me.

 

Cheerios, dog hair, and sand. Life is good.

Victims, Bullies, and Heroes

 

With so much talk about bullies these days, I wanted to pose my tilted perspective.

 

It’s so easy to point to this star or that hero and say that she is a bully or that he is a victim. The story is often so much more complicated than that. Besides, aren’t we all tempted to see ourselves as the perfect one in our own story.

 

In truth, we are all victims, bullies, and heroes. Sometimes, we are the bully. Sometimes we are the victim or the hero. Other times, we play all three roles during one incident.

 

Although violent behavior cannot be tolerated and victims cannot be blamed, if we look beyond blame to contribution, we see a richer story. This story offers more possibilities for change and growth.

 

The real question is: How did I contribute to taking on the role of bully, hero, or victim? Asking the question, in and of itself sets us on the path of true accountability and steers us from victimization of ourselves and others. After all, what is a bully, but someone who has been victimized by aggression, indulgence, or neglect?

Guilt-free Holiday Excess

 

Ah, the holidays. I hear so many people talking about losing weight so they can eat more during the holidays in a guilt-free way.

 

Since when did eating become a sin? Oh, right, gluttony.

 

So… does one big night of joyful eating, or two or three, really make for gluttony?

 

I think not.

 

What are the holidays for but to do things differently? We are more grateful, more desirous of joy and happiness, more ambitious with goals for business and personal lives, more generous, and more likely to let loose with our usual disciplines. Sounds good to me.

 

So this year, why not let yourself really enjoy, so you don’t have to gorge yourself. Guilty eating just makes us stuff our faces without real enjoyment of the yumminess of it all. Consult your medical, holistic, or nutrition professional and banish the scales, enjoy the beautifully-set tables, and savor the bounty of this universe.

 

Enjoy!

7 Ways to Sabotage Ourselves

 

When I procrastinated as a child, fussing over little details, my father, Joseph N. Gurri, M.D., would kiss me on the head and softly say, “Perfection Is the enemy of completion.” He was so right. But how delicious it is to ponder one little detail while avoiding other less attractive aspects of an unfinished project.

 

In my consulting and coaching practice, I face these very issues with clients and myself. So naturally, when I was avoiding a project, I came up with 7 Ways to Sabotage ourselves. I never said a good procrastination couldn’t be productive!

7 Ways to Sabotage Ourselves

  1. Perfection

  2. Overcommitment

  3. Exhaustion i.e. neglect of play, sleep, connection, laughter

  4. Avoidance i.e. procrastional

  5. Arrogance i.e. not being prepared

  6. Neglect of investment in our craft i.e. neglect of curiosity and ongoing learning

 

Here they are. That’s all I have to say. No obsessing today. Perhaps tomorrow…

 

Go forth and get your work done by deed or delegation so you can play.

Paperwork and Delegation Skills

Yuck. Paperwork. How often does a piece of paper or virtual document conjure up dread and ire? What’s a winner to do?

 

Aha!

 

Delegation is to the key to my paperwork success. I stink at paperwork. I can read a form and the ink or digital characters just float before my eyes with no meaning.

 

Yet, my daughter Jess or friend, Kathy, who run the Red Shoe business, see clear opportunities and responses.

 

Being Catholic, I forced myself to complete all paperwork by myself. The combination of torture, guilt, and relief was shared by my accountant as he had to deal with my less-than-perfect renditions of completed forms.

 

Why is it that successful business folk have such a hard time delegating to others what they hate or struggle with?  

 

Inviting competent bright and talented staff and team mates into our business invites abundance, excellence, and camaraderie. It’s hard to imagine folk that like paperwork and actually understand it, but, I have. They exist.

 

Red Shoe Ladies Jess Ennis and Kathy Heffner know just how much I appreciate their good-natured efficiency when dispatching odious tasks that would have taken hours for me to complete. My reluctant delegation has allowed our team to move forward in amazing and exciting ways.

 

What took me so long? What’s holding you up?

Credit Where Credit is Due

 

One sure way to build business relationships is to give credit where credit is due. This easy and free strategy is seemingly a disappearing art form.

 

Smart, successful entrepreneurs, professionals, and artists know that to build success we must create and maintain a whole team of supporters past, present, and future.

 

Thanking folk for their contribution to our success publicly and privately is the right thing and the smart thing to do. It makes others feel good about helping us, invites continued mentorship and helpfulness while making us look and feel good.

 

Quick, take out your cell phone and call, text, email, tweet, Facebook, or message a thanks right now.

 

Success is just a thanks away.

Priorities

 

Holidays are a great time to feel crushed by competing obligations. Ho ho hrmph! What’s a grump to do?

 

I’d say that Hawaii sounds good, but those of us that live in Florida are already in paradise.

 

So, its time to take a 15 minute time chunk and do a core brain dump of all obligations, nagging thoughts, and wishes, taking special note of anything we are dreading or avoiding. Looking at this list is any over-loaded individual or procrastinator’s nightmare. It is also the beginning of salvation.

 

With professional To Dos on the left-hand column and personal ones on the right, its clear why we were in hrmph mode.

 

The solution? Look at what you really need to do, what can be delegated, putting due dates and anticipated minutes-hours-days-months needed to complete each task. Delegate what you can, eliminate unneeded items, and dive into a practical plan to attack the list in small time chunks on specified days. If you are paralyzed, take a small break and do something fun or funny. If you need sleep, sleep. When in doubt, call in the cavalry. If you are this overwhelmed, I assume you don’t have a personal assistant or need to learn to delegate. Otherwise, we all have a loved one to call upon who is organized and helpful.

 

Dig in. Fifteen minutes is the answer to your problem!

 

Thanks, Jess, Kathy, Danny, and Elena!

 

Happy year’s end and the beginnings of a great New Year 2014.