How travel provides you with more opportunities.

Not having had the opportunity to travel outside of New England until I was 20 certainly formulated my initial thinking about the rest of the world. I knew there were many things I could learn from travel. So, when I began my career search, I looked for positions that would allow me to travel. That was one of the best decisions I ever made, from many perspectives. Having had the opportunity to explore the world, primarily thanks to the companies for which I have worked, changed my life.

I appreciate the fact not all jobs come with the chance to travel, but if there is the slightest opportunity, do not let it pass.

If you have not done much traveling, you might want to start slowly, like I did, and not go too far away. However, simply taking one trip will introduce you to a whole new world and open your eyes to both the joys and some of the drawbacks of traveling. I believe there are many more advantages, so I do not focus one bit of attention or energy on any of the negatives.

So, what are some of the hidden advantages of traveling? Here is a list, gained from over 30 years of travel.

  • You will have an opportunity to see places far different from where you have been living. Although some of the differences are subtle, you will notice. Keep a list of your favorites – for example, soda vs. pop, or hoagies vs. subs or packies vs. liquor stores . . .. Keep your eyes open to see both the indirect differences, as well as the major ones.

 

  • No matter where you travel, you will have a chance to meet new people. My family will confirm that talking to people is one of my top five favorite things to do! This comes naturally to me, so you might have to make an effort, but please do. Decades later, I am still in contact with folks I have met from all over the globe.

 

  • Traveling to other parts of the United States, you will see that others live basically the same way you do, with some exceptions for extreme climates such as Alaska or Hawaii. Appreciating that others around the country have similar living challenges can be a uniting element, especially if you live in an area which is very homogeneous.

 

  • When you travel outside the U.S., you will have an opportunity to go through customs and the border of the country to which you are traveling. No two experiences in doing this have ever been the same for me. The people who work in customs take their job very seriously, and I’m happy they do. Recently I had the good fortune of traveling to Fiji. Going through Customs, I noticed numerous signs about how they do not allow you to bring in food to their country, which can potentially introduce harmful elements. I was traveling from Sydney, Australia where I had purchased some mixed nuts, which I packed in my suitcase. Luckily, I remembered they were in there and took them out, otherwise I would have been fined $400. The point is, pay attention to things you might not normally need to worry or think about when you are traveling, but this is also a respectful habit.

 

  • Make sure you take photos of the places you visit. “A traveler without observation,” said Persian poet Saadi, “is a bird without wings.” You will appreciate looking back on these images for years to come, and it makes it easier to show people what you saw. Be sure to date them, and add the names of people you just met, contact info, or perhaps their business card.  If there is really a strong connection, that could lead to business, be sure to send a “It was nice to meet you” note when you return home.

 

  • If you have not done much traveling outside of the U.S., when you do, one of the things you will notice is the different regional customs in each of the countries you visit. One of the software companies I worked for trained me to learn about the customs of the people in the places to which I was traveling. For example, in Japan, silence really is golden and valued over an overabundance of talk. It is easy to learn what the proper manners are prior to visiting a country. If you’re traveling on business, making connections in a foreign country is critical. Observing another culture’s etiquette opens doors to more successful communications.

 

  • We know that other countries may do basic things differently. This could include their own currency, driving on the opposite side of the road, or even unique living arrangements. Whenever I have a chance, I make a point of going to the supermarket or convenience store to see how different items are displayed. I also take a look at the packaging of items, which is often unique. Seeing common things in a different way is part of what makes traveling fun.

 

  • I only speak English, but I can understand both French and Spanish when it is spoken slowly. When you travel outside of the U.S., and especially to Europe, prepare to be surprised by how many different languages other people are able to speak. The fact that most do not natively speak English but can carry on a full and intelligible conversation, never ceases to amaze.

 

  • Every time I travel, I am pleased with how genuinely nice people are. There are certain countries that are known for, and take pride in being kind, and they sure do live up to their reputation. Getting out of the region in which you live can open your mind to the fact that most people are decent human beings.

 

  • Do not shy away from any opportunity you have to travel. Be prepared to see the world through an entirely new lens. Seek out as many travel opportunities as you can, even if you have to pay for them yourself. However, look for opportunities in your role which would afford you the chance as part of your job. It is one of the best investments you can make. A well-traveled person is fascinating, has created an international circle of friends, and is able to tap into many more resources than one who stays put.

So, where is your next trip? Perhaps I’ll see you there.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coachauthor of Wisdom Whispererand is a well-respected motivational and social influencer with a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

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 produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

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

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Every team is dysfunctional at some point.  Click on the link below to obtain a “free guide” with (5) Proven Strategies To Turn Your Dysfunctional Team Into An Epic One .

Nice isn’t a four-letter word. Are you nice?

Even if you are not aware of what is going on in the world around you, it is hard not to notice there are many less than desirable things happening. Of course, the news mainly focuses on the sensational and less than positive information to report on. Occasionally it will broadcast a happy story. Although in my opinion, not nearly as often as they can and should.

I understand the economics of how sensational news is what viewers pay attention too, but sometimes I feel the equation for negative and positive news skews too heavily in the negative column. So, what can we do about this? In a simple word…lots!

For starters, we can be nicer on a daily basis to other people, starting with those closest to us. However, we also need to pass along being nice to our colleagues too. Considering we often spend more time with them than our family. If someone asked you what was the last nice thing you did for someone, could you name when and what it was?

All my life I have been referred to as a nice person. Sometimes I felt this wasn’t always a strength, especially in business. Or, so I thought at the time. Upon reflection, I wouldn’t want to change how I interacted with anyone. As a matter of fact, being nice to people is part of my management style. People take notice of this, especially when I am compared to others who do not have this same management philosophy.

Is my management style of being nice effective? It sure is. How do I know this? Because with one or two exceptions, people have told me they would want to work for and with me again at any point in time. Being nice doesn’t mean you are a pushover. It means you treat people with respect, and with kindness.

I don’t know about you, but I have never been motivated by people or bosses who are unkind, or simply not nice. Perhaps this management style works for some, but I would argue the majority of people do not respond well to this approach.

Have you ever taken the time to think about whether you are a nice person, or nice person to work or live with? If you haven’t, you should. Especially if no one has told you recently you are a nice person, in any context.

For the record, let me say that being nice is not a four-letter word. Or, a bad thing to be. In fact, it is easier to be nice than the opposite behavior. So, what are some of the other benefits to being nice? Here’s a starter list for you to consider adding to:

  • When you are genuinely nice to others, the response you normally get from them is a positive one.
  • You also feel better when you treat other people well.
  • Economically, if you are in a service business, your company will make more money if your employees treat one another, and your clients nicely.
  • Being nice to others raises both your endorphin levels, and the recipients too. For clarity, I’m talking about the “happy” type of endorphins. From a medical description via Dictionary.com, “Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.”
  • Modeling being nice to others can be contagious. We need more of this type of contagious behavior in our society.
  • Being nice does not reduce your professional or personal credibility level.
  • When you are nice to others, it means you are confident and strong.
  • More people want to interact with others who are nice, and there are numerous benefits to having more people to interact with.
  • There is no reason to be mean to others. You can always make the effort, even a small amount can be meaningful. Just try it, if you are not convinced.

So, the next time someone refers to you as being nice, stand proud, and know that you have earned being classified this way. Being nice in my opinion is a badge of honor, and I would gladly be classified as being nice, or too nice any day.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Essentially every team is dysfunctional in some way. Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging dysfunctional teams (sports & business), and turning them into epic ones.

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 produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

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

 

Authenticity sparkle. Do you have it?

Not everyone is charming all the time, but those who are both charming and authentic certainly have advantages over others. You know who they are, and you quite possibly could be one of these people. Most salespeople can pull off a version of being charming, but the exceptional ones also do this authentically. Of course, I’m referencing salespeople because this particular career requires them to have what I refer to as ‘authentic sparkle’.

When someone has authentic sparkle, it’s incredibly obvious to others, and yet it may or may not be obvious to the person who possesses this ability. This may sound absurd, but I have seen this phenomenon so many times, I decided to share my take on how others who do not have this combo can either work on obtaining it, or hire someone who possesses it to be on their sales team.

So, the first thing you need to be aware of is the main characteristic traits for authentic sparkle. This is how I would break down being able to recognize them, although chances are you too have recently come across someone with these traits.  This is a limited list, but will provide you with enough clues on how to recognize the signs of this person.

  • When you first meet them, you feel like you have known them forever, or have met them before, but can’t remember exactly when it was.
  • They have the ability to converse on just about any topic you can imagine, with ease and beyond simply a surface level.
  • This is the type of person you want to invite to your next party or family gathering, even if you just met them.
  • They have an uncanny ability to put you at complete ease, even if the situation is stressful.
  • Although it seems unrealistic, you immediately have a sense you can trust this person, but you can’t put your finger on exactly understanding why you feel this way.
  • You want to help this person, even if you do not normally extend help to people you have just met.
  • This person literally makes your day better instantly when you meet them. Who doesn’t want to align themselves with this type of individual?

Have you met someone recently who you could describe as having some if not all of the characteristics above? If you have, what was the experience like for you?

Now, let’s switch gears and talk about how you too could attempt to acquire some of the characteristic traits noted above. These traits do not have to only apply to salespeople, as having a persona type which includes the characteristics above can be beneficial to lots of professions, and can carry over into your life too.

If you are interested in adding authentic sparkle to your life or profession, here are some tips on how to go about doing so.

  • Just be yourself. Seriously, too many people are attempting to be like others, but in my opinion, most people I have met are all pretty incredible in their own unique way. Embrace it, or like my article titled “Embrace Your Weirdness” encourages, don’t be afraid to show others who you really are.
  • Focus more on listening versus talking about yourself. Apply the 80/20 rule, which consists of listening 80% of the time, and limiting your talking to 20%. When you do this, you automatically come across as being more authentic.
  • Commit to once per day doing one nice thing for someone else. Both you and the person you did the nice thing for will add to your what I will call “sparkle bank”. I have also referred to this as your “karma bank”, and essentially, they are similar.
  • Look for opportunities to practice being authentic. If you do not provide yourself with chances to practice being charming, and your genuine self, you are not going to automatically become better at this simply because you want to. Sorry to burst your bubble on this, but it’s true.
  • After around one month of applying these basic tips, see if anyone notices or tells you that you seem happier or more fun to be with. Or, perhaps you will start to be invited out more or included in experiences you were not in the past. If this happens, you will know your authentic sparkle is starting to kick into gear for you.

Whether you want to have more authentic sparkle or hire someone who possesses it, I hope my take on how to go about upping your sparkle will work for you, or allow you to find people to hire which have this trait. One last hint, people who have “Woo” or “Positivity” in their Gallup Strengths Top 5, generally will have the authentic sparkle you are looking for.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

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 produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

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

(5) Tips to prepare you for good things to happen

 We all daydream about ‘What If’ fill-in-the-blank happens in a positive way, but what if even a small percentage of the good things you imagine actually happen? Are you ready to enjoy and embrace them? Why is it that it seems some people have an overabundance of good things happen to them?  Are they just luckier than others, or perhaps on a more positive ‘wavelength’ which brings about more fortunate circumstances?

Certainly, some people are better at designing circumstances than others, but some of what happens to us is outside of our control. Thinking positively can have a significant impact on your life. I have personally experienced too many instances not to believe in the power of how thinking and being positive has incredible influence over the situation, and the reverse when I was more negative.

Envisioning positive outcomes can actually influence what happens. Take, for example, how, when you leave your house in morning in a bad mood, how it seems like more negative things turn up along the way – there’s more traffic than usual, your favorite parking spot is already occupied, the person in front of you buys the last muffin at the coffee shop, you show up later than planned . . .

Conversely, if you have a great attitude either in the morning, or any part of the day, doesn’t it seem like everything seems to go much better? You hit all green lights on the way to work, your favorite song is playing on the radio, a parking spot right near the door is waiting, you arrive early, holding your favorite pastry . . . and smiling!

Stop to think about this concept from either a negative or positive perspective, and I will bet you would certainly want to have more of the latter, both at home and at work. You can!  Here are some tips to help you do this.

  1. Check your attitude as you would your pulse either in the morning, or at any point during the day when you find yourself either not thinking positively, or as optimistically as you could be.

 

  1. If your thinking is negative, stop and reframe the situation. Tell yourself the outcome is going to be fine and work out well. You will be pleasantly surprised at how this simple shift in your mindset can bring about a much more desirable outcome.

 

  1. Negative thinking run amok? Literally stop what you are doing; if possible, and step away from what you are doing. Take a deep breath and then breathe in and out ten times to the count of ten on each breath. I’m not sure of physiologically how this has such a powerfully positive outcome, but it has worked wonders more times than you can imagine. Try it!

 

  1. Create a vision board full of pictures, or jot down a few scenarios and think about how you want the circumstances to play out. When these things happen, you will be prepared to deal with them, especially when they are positive ‘What Ifs’.

 

  1. Talk to someone you trust about your ‘What If’ thinking. They might have some phenomenal suggestions that will enhance the experience and outcomes.

 

Being prepared to handle both positive and seemingly-not-so-great scenarios, can serve you well.

I hope the negative ones do not outnumber the positive. If they do, start making sure your positive ‘What Ifs’ are at least a three to one ratio. Having more positive ‘What Ifs’ will make you feel better, and keep you focused on a more pleasant professional and personal life.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Her expertise is in uniting, motivating and bridging teams (sports & business). What does this do for her clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

Market Me Too also works with and coach’s individuals from students to C-level executives. The individuals, business and sports teams she works with are coached on how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Her coaching produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to her clients, or read through their testimonials.

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

 

 

 

What makes you stand out?

Perhaps you have heard the expression, that person really stands out in a crowd. Depending on how you think about hearing this, it could be a positive thing, or perhaps a negative one. I generally look at this as a good thing, with the caveat that the person standing out is not harming themselves or anyone else.

In the US, our culture generally embraces people being unique, or at least accepting or tolerating this at some level. We are fortunate to be living in a country that is more open minded than some other places in the world. However, we also know there are certain places in our country that are more accepting of people’s differences than others.

Consider yourself fortunate if you happen to live in a place that embraces people being different. If you do not live in such a place, you will have to consider becoming more comfortable with your uniqueness, or in an extreme situation, relocate. Let’s hope you do not have to do this, but generally putting yourself in a more positive environment is what we should all be striving to do.

So, what makes you stand out? This might not be something you think about every day. However, it is a good exercise to go through, as it focuses you on the aspects of who you are, how you look at your world, how you approach each situation and perhaps how you want the world to view you. The good news is that there is no one right way to stand out, and I’m referring to standing out as part of what helps to define your personal brand.

We are living at a point in time when self-branding has become something everyone has to consider, not just celebrities and famous people who have professionals managing their image. Whether you engage with social media or not, a large percentage of the population does, and this engagement is part of what directly and indirectly impacts their image, or personal brand.

Since most people are not professional brand managers, they can in fact take on and better understand the aspects of managing a brand, their brand. Ways to do this start with becoming aware of the type of image you are portraying via social media. It’s best to think twice before you post either images or content which can have a negative impact on you. I don’t think I need to spell this out in terms of what the specifics are. However, if you even think for a nano-second and have a hint of doubt about posting something, don’t. Yes, it’s that simple.

Now, if you want to stand out, and do so in a way which is going to be perceived as being positive, then there are numerous ways to do this, and here are some suggestions about how to do so in a way which will not cause you angst, or regret.

  • Before you post content, think about whether the content could be perceived as content which could be hurtful, to anyone. If it is, then don’t post it.
  • Sure, you may think you should be posting all of your social partying images at that moment in time, but I can tell you, images like these have caused people that were going to be hired, to get cut from the list of candidates to hire.
  • If you do any sort of volunteer work, and if it is conducive to showing the work via a photo, by all means, post this photo. This is the type of image which can absolutely help your personal brand image.
  • Perhaps you won some type of award either at work or in your community. It’s perfectly fine to tell others about this, and toss in a photo if the award is something which can be photographed.
  • Share information on your social feeds about others who are doing good things for other people. Give them a shout-out for being good at what they are doing, or because they are doing something positive for others. We need more good news to off-set all the bad news we are bombarded with on a daily basis.
  • If you have a hobby, and it is one you can teach others, consider offering to teach it to others by letting them know you will do this via your social feeds. Of course, you can limit this offer, but simply making the offer is what will help to make you stand out in a positive manner.

Standing out can sometimes have a negative perception, but it doesn’t have to. As a matter of fact, being different and standing out is something we should all become more comfortable with doing. Why? Because at various points in our life, we will need to stand out more at times than others. If we are comfortable with doing so, this will serve us very well.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of MarketMe Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and is a well-respected motivational and social influencer who has a global following from her numerous speaking, print, radio and television media appearances.

Our expertise is in uniting, motivating and strengthening teams (sports & business). What does this do for our clients? It provides them with an acceleration boost to reach their goals sooner, and interact with a renewed efficiency, focus and energy level.

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 produces repeatable, measurable and amazing results personally and professionally. Need proof? Just talk to our clients, or read through our testimonials.

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