It Really Is About Who You Know

Ever hear someone complain:

That’s not fair. I didn’t get hired for the job I wanted. I bet the guy who got it probably knew somebody at the company.

Two things almost immediately pop into my head when I hear something like that:

  1. They’re probably right. Many things in a life are about who you know.
  2. Instead of complaining, work on becoming the type of guy/girl that people know.

… and more importantly, be the kind of person that people who know you will want to help.

So, does that mean I should start kissing peoples asses?

NO! … don’t do that.

People (even those with some power) who appreciate ass kissers, are probably not the type that you’d ever want to find yourself owing a favor to. And that’s not really what I’m talking about anyway.

Ok, so what should I do?

  • Well, for starters, never burn your bridges unless you have absolutely no choice.

  • Always try to do the best you can, even when there doesn’t appear to be any immediate payoff. You never know who’s going to notice, and appreciate, the things that you do.

  • Be a positive person, who adds value. It’s ok to have a critical eye, as long as you also have solutions. Nobody wants to be around, much less offer their assistance to those who do nothing but complain all the time.

And most importantly …

  • Be someone who helps others, with no expectation of “payback”. Karma counts.

Ok, so that’s a few of my ideas.

What do you think?

What are some other things people can do to transform themselves into the type of person who seems to “catch all the breaks”?

Please tell me in the comments section below …

The goal of giving Thanks

I was going to try to write something wise for Thanksgiving, then I realized that I really tend to benefit from just going back and reading stuff I’ve already written in the past. Here’s an oldy but goody originally from Thanksgiving 2007.

Ok, so now that we’re all done stuffing ourselves with turkey, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie it’s time for a little reflection. Did you take a few minutes today to think about the some of things you’re truly thankful for?

If you’re doing it right, today should not have been an abnormal day in the giving thanks department.

Giving thanks for all the good things you already have in your life is an integral part of successful goal setting. Every entry on my dreamboard starts with a list of the things I’m thankful for today. Not surprisingly, many of the same things tend to show up on a daily basis … family, friends, health, etc..

Even when it comes building my home business; thinking back, the most success I’ve had sponsoring new people, always seemed to coincide with the times I was focusing most intensely on the people who were already in my group.

We tend to get more of what we think about most

So the next time you sit down to map out your goals, instead of making a long list of all the things that you really want, try spending a little extra time expressing gratefulness for the good stuff that you already have in your life.

To some extent, every day should be Thanksgiving.

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]

p.s. my friend Dawn’s blog also reminded me of another important element of giving thanks … helping those who are less fortunate

The Real Value of Experience

Everything I’ve done up until this point, has prepared me for what I’m about to do.

I’m paraphrasing a little bit, but I heard this on an interview I listened to yesterday. It really resonated with me. The interview was about business; and since I’m considering making a pretty significant shift in my business strategy here in the near future, I found the quote encouraging.

It’s not just about business though …

Pretty much applies to life in general. Everything we’ve done, every experience we’ve had, and especially every mistake we’ve made, has gotten us ready for whatever it is we’re about to do next.

In a way, if you’ve lived a charmed life, and haven’t had to deal with adversities or failures, you may actually be at a disadvantage when compared to the rest of us poor slobs. :-)

Fail forward.

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]

photo by: Peter Gene

Finding My Why

For a number of years now, I’ve been saying that I’d “kind of like” to be able to do my home business full-time (as in it provides a significant portion of our income) after I retire from the military. But if you asked me to name a specific reason, the best I could usually come up with is that I’d like to avoid the stress of looking for another job.

Woops … I’ve had a negative “why”.

As you can probably guess, although having a continuously profitable home business for over 10 years now could certainly be considered successful in relative terms; if I had to retire from the Air Force tomorrow, I wouldn’t yet have enough of a regular income to avoid a job search.

Clearly I need a stronger motivation to build my home business income. I retire from the military at the end of 2013, so I’ve only got two years to figure this out.

Last Friday, the girl’s school had a military dad’s lunch, in honor of Veteran’s day. I got to go eat lunch with both Jasmine and Jaiden … which was a lot of fun. We laughed, and smiled, and just generally had a pretty happy lunch hour. As I was walking home, and reflecting on what a good time I’d had, something hit me …

When I retire from the military, Jaiden will only be in Kindergarten, and Joey will just be starting pre-school. They’re going to have a lot of years of school ahead of them … which will mean a lot of lunches, and field trips.

I think I just found my WHY.

Starting in January of 2014, I WILL be at EVERY one of these parents lunches. And I WILL volunteer to accompany my girls on EVERY field trip. And I will be there for EVERY soccer game, or gymnastics meet, or just to play in the yard. In short, my goal is to be a Stay at Home Dad … with an income that allows me to enjoy it!

This is a much more clear cut goal … I can close my eyes, and easily picture it.

But …

Just so I don’t fall into the trap of trying to justify the minimum amount I can do to somehow just “get by” while still nominally achieving this goal, I want to add in something with a financial cost.

Turns out this is relatively easy to come up with too. You see, we just bought a new house, and it turns out that the back yard is pretty big. Big enough, in fact, that there’s more than enough room for a pool.

So, the second part of my goal is …

By the summer of 2014, we will have an in-ground pool in our back yard. Due to the hard ground here in central Texas, I’ve been told that this could easily represent a $40-$50K investment. No matter, I can see myself floating in that pool, not caring in the least that it’s 105 degrees. :-)

Ok, that all sounds well and good. But what am I going to do to make these goals come to fruition?

I could smile and think positive thoughts.

Actually, I intend to do a whole lot of that.

But, I also need some sort of measurable action, that I can track over time.

So here’s what I’m going to do …

Between now and December of 2013, I will get 1000 No’s

Huh? What the heck does 1000 No’s mean?

Simple. I will invite people to look at my home business plan. I’ll ask them to partner with me. And I will do this enough times that at least 1000 people tell me “No, thank you”

Here’s the cool part though …

Along the way to getting those 1000 no’s, a certain percentage of people are going to say Yes!

And the even cooler part, I have no excuse to be scared of inviting people to look, and asking them to partner with me … since my purpose is simply to get an answer … doesn’t even matter what they say.

If it’s a Yes, I have a new partner.

And if it’s a No, I can count it towards my 1000.

It’s pure win/win.

.. and it’s a bright, shining path towards my getting to enjoy a whole lot of lunches with my girls. ;-)

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]

I’ll Be Your Honey Bee

Ok, so I stole the title from a popular country song, but none-the-less, today I do want to talk about our friend the honey bee.

Did you know, that as far as we humans are concerned, the honey bee is probably the most important animal in the world?

Do you know why that is?

One word: Pollination

As the bee goes out on it’s daily hunt for nectar, at each plant it stops it usually also inadvertently picks up some pollen. As it moves on to the next food source, it deposits this pollen, enabling the plants (aka: our food) to reproduce.

So what can people learn from the bee?

What should we try to emulate?

As you go about your daily life, gathering the things you need for YOU, you’ll also invariably pick up “stuff” that might very well be useful to others. You may or may not even be aware of this “stuff” .. but it’s there.

Here’s the thing about humans though .. unlike bees, we have this thing call Free Will.

The choices we make can have some impact on how much “stuff” we gather, what kind of “stuff” it is, and even how many other people we spread this “stuff” to.

Similarly to bees …

Where we choose to feed (our minds) will have an effect on the quality and quantity of the additional “stuff” we pick up along the way. Also .. by choosing to “feed” in a variety of different places, not only will we enhance our ability to pick up a larger cross-section of “stuff”, but we’ll do a much better job of spreading the (hopefully good) “stuff” that’s already sticking to us … thereby enhancing the opportunity for additional sources of nourishment to prosper and grow.

Basically ..

The more we interact, and give back (consciously or not), the greater the chances that we’ll Always be able to find (and get), the things we Need.

Wait a second though, aren’t some people scared of bees?

Maybe there are some things about honey bees we don’t want to emulate?

In addition to cool things like wings, big eyes, and six legs, bees also come equipped with a stinger (which I suppose some people might also classify as “cool”).

As these wonderful insects go about their mission of spreading pollen and literally creating life; if they feel threatened, they have the ability to inflict a great deal of pain on their perceived nemesis.

But there’s a catch:

Very often when a bee stings, it dies shortly thereafter.

Hmmm …

So when a bee lashes out, and stings it’s “victim”, it almost always pays a much greater price than the person or thing it was trying to hurt.

Sure, a sting is painful, but by the next day, you might not every feel it any more.

The bee however, is dead.

Do you think we might be able to apply this lesson to a few (or even most) of our human interactions?

Just something to ponder.

Til next time,

[todd-sig]

p.s. This picture was taken with my Nexus S at about 8:30am this morning. While I’d hardly call it the ideal tool for macro photography, I have to say that this one definitely turned out not bad at all .. especially for a shot taken with a camera phone.

Are Your Goals Outrageous Enough?

If not, you’re probably selling yourself short.

But, Why would I want to set Outrageous goals ???

Simple … Because you just might get whatever it is that you ask for!

And on that note, I could probably just end this post right now.

But I won’t …

Here’s a quick story that recently happened at work.

I’m going to start with the ending first; I know, I know, ruins the suspense, but oh well. Back in November, the 3rd Weather Squadron here at Fort Hood Texas had our biennial inspection, called the SEPWO. We scored a perfect 100%. That never happens in Air Force Weather … ok, apparently it’s happened one other time … but it’s not something you’d Expect to happen in a squadron our size.

Rewind about 5 or 6 months.

Earlier this summer, we had a new commander come in. Obviously he was aware of the upcoming inspection, and within a couple of days of his arrival; at his first commander’s call; we were All made aware of the fact that he was aware …

He told us straight up: “My expectation for the Inspection is a score of 100%. We’ve got a great group of people here, I know you can do it.”

Now I’ve been in the military long enough that I’ve heard similar pep talks many times before .. and I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I didn’t really believe him. In fact, if I’m really honest, my thoughts were more along the lines of: “yea right, the inspectors Always find Something wrong”.

Well apparently HE believed it. Because every time we got together in the months leading up to the SEPWO, we heard again about how we were going to earn a Perfect score. And when you went into many of the offices, especially our Standards section, they had 100% written on the white board in big read letters.

We worked hard, fixed some things that needed fixing, did a lot of practicing on stuff we were already doing well; and then when the big week came, we Aced it … just as the commander had predicted.

Even after the fact, I’m still a little bit surprised.

But here’s one thing I definitely know: the only reason we even had a chance of achieving that perfect score, is because that’s the seemingly (to some of us) outrageous goal that the commander decided to set.

I’m absolutely convinced that if the commander had stood up at that first meeting, and told us that his goal for our Squadron was to earn an “Excellent” rating on the upcoming inspection, that we would have ending scoring something like a 98 or 99% … still really good, but not unprecedented.

So what’s the takeaway?

Scroll back up to the top and read that bolded sentence again.

If you’re going to go to the trouble of setting goals, you might as well ask for whatever it is you “really” want .. just in case this is destined to be one of those times when something “outrageous” or “unprecedented” happens. ;-)

Keep havin FuN!
[todd-sig]