Take one step forward to change everything

I recently saw a saying which conveyed if you do not like where you are, then move. This can apply to so many scenarios, and it can literally mean pivoting and taking one step in a different direction. Have you ever noticed that sometimes making the smallest changes in any situation can have a significantly positive outcome? Take for example moving your desk to another place in your office, or rearranging and organizing items on your desk. Although these are small and seemingly inconsequential movements, they can have an impact on how you approach your next tasks.

When people are in scenarios which are unknown to them, or they are preparing to go someplace they have not been, the most difficult part of going there can be the first step they take. However, when they take their first step forward and literally look back, they have made more progress by doing this, as it is easier to continue going forward than it is to take a step back.

Earlier today I was talking to someone I have known for many years, and who has a son who is training to be a Navy Seal. He was telling me about some of the training his son has been going through, and just the first week alone and getting through it sounded nearly impossible. The sleep deprivation part of the training alone would have knocked me out of becoming a Seal, and it got me thinking about how do people get through the training process, and at what point do they decide they can’t make it through?

I have not spoken to a Navy Seal directly. However, based on hearing about my friend’s son and the type of training he has gone through, I have deduced that in order to become a Seal, it not only takes a very determined individual, but they must also possess having a certain level of mental toughness combined with sheer tenacity and a willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.

Each day when the prospective Seals are in training, the first step they take must in some respects be the most difficult one. Especially since they know the day ahead of them is likely going to be tougher than the previous days. If non-Seals or regular people are fortunate, they will not face the same challenges that taking the first step forward Seals in training encounter. However, I do know that taking the first step for some people can be daunting, and most of the time it is the mental aspect, not the physical aspect which makes moving ahead difficult.

So, if taking a step forward in any situation is made challenging due to the mental aspect, what can you do to overcome and move ahead? Here are some suggestions for you:

  • Focus on your end goal.
  • Seek encouragement from others to help you to take the first step.
  • Visualize what it will feel like when you have completed the project or scenario.
  • Talk yourself into getting started, and tell yourself it will not be as hard as you think it might be.
  • Set a timeframe for accomplishing either part of the project or scenario, and work towards completing it.
  • Look for others who inspire you. They may in fact have nothing to do with what you are challenging yourself to move ahead with, but they can provide inspiration for you to move ahead based on what they accomplished.
  • Establish a reward for yourself once you move ahead and then complete your project or scenario.
  • Share your completed accomplishment with someone you are comfortable with. You might in fact inspire them to do something they are afraid of doing based on what you accomplished.

No matter who you are, or what you have accomplished, everyone has things in their work and life which hold them back from moving forward. Sometimes people even seem to enjoy complaining about how they are stuck and cannot make progress. Doing this does not serve them or anyone else well, and the trick to preventing this from happening is to focus and know that by taking that first step forward, they can literally have a life changing scenario occur. Now that’s worth finding the courage to move ahead.

So, what’s next? This is a rhetorical question. Get up and take your first step towards reaching the goal you thought you could not reach. I know you can do this, and I hope I’m part of playing the role for your inspiration to do so.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis, which produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

(10) Reasons why we should all be daydreaming

When was the last time you caught yourself daydreaming? This is something I find myself doing regularly. It often serves as inspiration for the work I do.

Daydreaming can even be helpful in solving challenges – an extension of the thinking-through process. Some might refer to the act of daydreaming in other expressive ways.  This concept serves multiple purposes and results in more positive than negative outcomes.

No one would argue that time is one of our most precious resources, but they might tell you daydreaming is not a productive use of time. I disagree.

Let’s imagine if people did not daydream. Would they be more productive, happier, healthier, and ultimately more satisfied with their life? Probably not. Daydreaming is a form of natural therapy which can calm anxiety provide hope and inspiration to do and achieve what once seemed impossible.

I have found that when daydreaming, I am, in fact, architecting in my mind the potential outcome.

I use daydreaming to help me think through conundrums either for myself, my clients, friends, or family. Since most of us do not remember our overnight dreams, I am thankful we can remember our daydreams. We can leverage them to transport us to places we might not otherwise be able to go for any number of reasons – health, mobility issues, finances, fear . . .

Do you daydream?  If not, why not?  Is it because you think it is a waste of time? Is it because you do not have anything you think is worthy of daydreaming about? Or, does the possibility of seeing yourself in a better place seem too scary? Regardless of which camp you find yourself in on the debate of whether daydreaming is a worthwhile exercise, here are my ‘pro’ daydreaming reasons.

  1. Daydreaming can be like taking a mini mental vacation each and every day.
  2. Daydreaming can encourage you to do more than you think you can.
  3. Daydreaming allows you to place (or imagine) yourself in different scenarios and can help you to prepare to step up or in when the actual time comes. It is similar to the concept of visualization.
  4. Daydreaming can provide your mind and body with a way to decrease stress by thinking about things that are more positive.
  5. Creative minds need time to relax and capture mental power from various sources. Daydreaming is often a source that fuels those with creative minds.
  6. Inspiration can come from daydreaming, which in turn allows you to continue, to pursue or to embark upon something you want to achieve.
  7. Numerous inventions have been inspired by daydreaming as the catalyst for the idea to come to fruition.
  8. Problem solvers, or people who have to figure out solutions to challenges will often apply the act of daydreaming to help their minds switch gears and develop methods and solutions.
  9. Healing can take place when our minds have an opportunity to check-out from reality and go to a happier place, which in turn can release natural healing chemicals in our brains.
  10. Those who are dealing with physical or mental issues can apply the pros of daydreaming to help them see themselves in a better and more positive situation than the one they are currently in.

In other words, daydreaming can offer people hope. On days it may be in short supply. Since daydreaming does not cost anything, and is easy to do, why not give it a try? See if you change your mind, or reinforce your beliefs, about the benefits and positive aspects of this practice after you have given it a try for a week or two.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Our coaching takes place individually, or via customized workshops.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

It’s all about the now.  Or is it?

I’ll admit that patience is probably not one of my super powers.  To my credit, I do practice being patient, and many people who have worked with me actually think I am patient.

Perhaps I come across as patient, but if I were a duck, you would likely see my feet paddling extremely fast underneath the calm surface of the water. Being, or appearing to be patient can have advantages. In many business situations, it is imperative to come across as steady, yet able to make swift and well thought-through decisions when necessary.

There have been numerous articles written about the power of now, and a book with that very title by Eckhart Tolle extols the virtues of spiritual enlightenment, living in the moment, and not concerning yourself with thoughts from the past.

In the business world, we are trained to both look in our rearview mirror and to leverage this information to inform our decisions. This knowledge will make us more competitive.

When we take the time to slow down and leverage analysis to help with strategic planning, we go against the concept of instant gratification. However, this is absolutely required and usually takes years of experience to do well, or without guidance.

Being strategic about decisions can be a challenge, especially if you’re a newcomer to the business world. It can also be frustrating to those who are driven by our instant gratification society.

We are fortunate to have technology to rely upon to help provide insights into data that even five years ago would have been difficult to obtain or analyze. Reading and interpreting the numbers is skill that is best developed over time. Having instant access can be enormously beneficial, but taking the time to review the information with others more experienced will serve you well.

An example of this would be reviewing your social media marketing investments to determine if they are providing you with the expected results you desire or forecasted. Fortunately, social media is one of the marketing investment areas which can be adjusted in “real time” if the results are not suitable, and this is one example of appealing to instant gratification.

Not all business disciplines are driven by instant gratification, but sales and marketing teams often are. This is fueled by expectations from senior management who either report to a board of directors or potentially to venture capitalists who have extremely high expectations. In both of these instances, time is not on the side of the teams who are on the front lines of performance. There is a great deal of pressure on these teams to perform well, and in the spirit of now.

Depending on how the powers that be manage their team, employees working for them will be captured by a great sense of urgency and potentially a feeling of being under a performance microscope. It is critical that upper management know how to minimize these emotions, as this type of pressure is not sustainable.

Seasoned managers know how to guide their teams through bursts of pressure and show them how to embrace the power of instant gratification in smaller doses. Since marketing and sales teams are typically quarterly driven, they should pace themselves through their performance journeys.

Some people are naturally adept at pacing themselves, but most people need a bit of guidance or coaching, and over sustained periods of time. Having superior time management skills will contribute to making the marathon pace seem less daunting, and allow the team to embrace the concept of slowing down enough to realize they do not need to have instant gratification for every aspect of their work.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

Is Communal Workspace a Trend?

During the last few years I have noticed more shared or communal workspaces popping up in a variety of cities around the US. At first I did not pay much attention to them, but recently I had a chance to visit two of these spaces in Boston and Portland, Maine. I was really impressed by what I saw. The spaces were well laid out, offered all of the resources a large corporation would offer its employees, and the office vibe was electric.

When I inquired about who tends to work in these spaces, I was pleasantly surprised by the wide variety of people it attracts. My first impression was that it would attract start-up companies or solopreneurs. However, it turns out, the variety of people who show up at these types of spaces each day is not only impressive, they include people who already have home offices or who when they can work from home, choose to go to a shared workspace instead.

The advantages to working in shared or communal workspaces are far greater than the disadvantages, and most of these spaces are also surprisingly affordable. Depending on your type of work style, and personality type, working in a shared workspace is a far better place to work than a coffee-style environment. Why? Because for one thing, you can easily strike up conversations with others in the communal workspace, and this is actually encouraged.

Having an opportunity to meet fascinating other people, many of whom are entrepreneurs, seasoned business people, or highly creative individuals is another perk to spending time in this type of workspace. If you are also looking to solve a challenge, there is generally someone you will meet who can either help you to talk through and solve your challenge, or who knows someone else you can talk to. The spirt of helping one another to be successful, regardless of the type of work you are doing is highly contagious, and helps to fuel why in my opinion these workspaces are so attractive to work and spend time in.

Based on skyrocketing real estate costs for businesses, they are being forced into having to downsize their real estate footprints. Although downsizing business space has advantages to a company’s bottom line, there is a negative side to this process. The negative aspect is not often talked about. However, one of the main downsides is loneliness and the feeling of potential isolation for those who are new to the concept of working from home. Hence the reason people who work from home often will spend part of their day at a coffee shop, or public space where they can work and be around other people.

Although coffee shops and public spaces provide a sense of socializing, they lack giving a person a sense of belonging and of having beyond anything in common other than being interested in coffee or tea with others. Conversely, the shared workspaces automatically give you a sense of community and of fitting in, regardless of whether you spend several hours or multiple days there during the week.

A few other unintended advantages to working in shared workspaces is that they can significantly expand your professional network, or prospects for a new job. I’m a huge fan of always working towards increasing one’s professional network, and these types of workspaces provide the perfect environment for fostering networking opportunities.  Additionally, I found the shared spaces I visited to be buzzing with new business services and product ideas, and I have always been inspired and more motivated when I am around people who have this type of mindset.

So, if you have not checked out a shared workspace, I encourage you to do so. You might be as pleasantly surprised by how collaborative and embracing these spaces and the people working in them are. For the record, and to be completely transparent, I do not have an affiliation with any shared workspaces, but I’m sure they will not mind me plugging their concept.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too bridges teams and provides organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, and have their teams become more unified regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Ms. Murphy is also the author of a newly published business book called Wisdom Whisperer which is available via Amazon.

Market Me Too additionally works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.

 

 

 

 

Leadership – How do you know if you are a great leader?

Leadership is not for everyone, and even some people who are in leadership positions do not belong in this role. Having worked for numerous leaders during the course of my twenty-five years in the business world, I can tell you there is a wide array of leadership types and levels of competency. Fortunately, I have learned something from both the amazing and not so great leaders, but the amazing ones are different from the average leaders based on a number of similar characteristics.

During my professional marketing career, I worked at a combination of both start-up and well established companies (e.g., Constant Contact, EMC/Dell, Hitachi). The start-up company’s leaders were the ones I learned the most from. I attribute this due to the fact these leaders had to be so dynamic and multi-talented with their skill sets. Their multi-faceted skills were what enabled them to navigate and grow the companies in the face of continuous high risk, especially during hyper growth or unknown growth periods when a new product or service was being launched.

In my opinion, the number one skill the best leaders each possessed was their high level of emotional intelligence, also referred to as EQ. To the best of my knowledge, this is not a skill which is taught in business school, and is purely an innate talent. When someone has a high degree of EQ, this does not guarantee they will be a successful leader, but the best ones I worked for leveraged this skill every day in highly demonstrable ways.

Some of the ways the highly successful leaders leveraged their EQ was by being able to easily read people and know how to motivate them. They were also able to get along well with them, regardless of the role they played in the organization. Possessing the ability to provide a crystal-clear vision both verbally and in writing of where and how a company will achieve its goals, is also an essential skill the best leaders I worked for possessed.

The majority of the best leaders also exuded charisma, and were very likeable people. They also earned your respect, and you wanted to follow and do your best work for them. The majority of them were also demanding and had extremely high standards across the board, but they were also fair and non-judgmental. Being open minded was an attribute they all possessed too.

Ironically, not all of the people who I would classify as a leader were in fact leaders. However, they possessed the characteristics and traits associated with successful leaders, and were clearly heading towards being one at some point in their career. I’m sure you can name a few people who fall into this category, and I hope they will be given the opportunity to step into the leadership role they are destined to fill.

A recent and non-business example of a person who is destined to be a leader is a young man I recently worked with who was on a sports team I was the performance and motivation coach for. This young man would be the first person to tell you he was probably the least talented player on the team from a field skill perspective, but this did not truly matter, as his role on the team was more important on the sidelines and in the locker room.  He exhibited all of the characteristics of a leader in the making, and his teammates recognized this at the end of the season and by naming him to be one of the captains of the team during his senior year.

If you think you are a leader in the making, wish to be one someday, or are in fact already a leader, this is one of the most important roles you will play in your professional life. Having worked for some of the best leaders in the world, I encourage you to model your leadership style after well know leaders, regardless of the industry they are in. For developing leaders, or if you are a leader and you have not fully developed the essential characteristics and skills to be a great leader, there is still time to do so.

Please do not delay in developing your leadership skills, as you are doing a disservice to yourself and those you are leading when you do not possess the right or essential leadership skills.

How will you know if you are a great leader? Chances are you have been told you are, and if you have not regularly heard that you are, then you might have some more work to do to get to the great leader designation.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth and revenue numbers, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. She is also the author of a newly published business book called Whisperer whichis available via Amazon.

Market Me Too also works with individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams we work with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis.

If you want better results, let’s talk. We know how to help you get them. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com or (339) 987-0195.