Seeing Opportunities. Do you?

Are you constantly amazed by either people you know or read about who always seem to be able to take advantage of opportunities better than others? Are they lucky or do they have a sixth sense when it comes to being able to see or capitalize on situations which are highly favorable to them? The answer as you might imagine is not completely straightforward, and I am going to share with you how you can start to do this too.

Part of the challenge most people have in terms of not being able to take full advantage of potential opportunities either at work or in their lives is simple. They are not fully paying attention to what is going on around them as they are too busy dealing with their day to day challenges at home and work. However, if you consciously look up from time to time from all of the day to day distractions you have, you will begin to notice and see things going on around you via a different and more opportunistic lens.

When you begin to notice what is going on around you, the next part of capitalizing on opportunities is to start asking questions to those who are associated with what you are seeing going on. This might seem more difficult than it really is or needs to be, as you can generally obtain most of the basic information you will need by asking a limited amount of questions. For example, you can ask:

  • Do you see others being involved in “x” with what you are working on?
  • What is your timing for “Y”?
  • Have you put a plan together, even an initial one to determine the validity of the “Z” opportunity?
  • Providing you are interested enough to inquire and sincerely would want to participate, you can then ask: Could I play a part in the opportunity you are pursuing or engaged with?

If what I have outlined above seems a bit too nebulous for you, I want you to think about some of the times you have seen opportunities which you noticed, and did not pursue doing something about to take advantage of them.

Perhaps it was an opportunity to go on a trip with some of your friends, and you neglected to ask if you could be included in going on the trip. Or, possibly there was a discussion at work taking place about your department expanding which would create new roles, some of which you would be more interested in taking on the challenge of pursuing. Another example would be talking about how a certain neighborhood appears to be on the edge of becoming a more trendy place to live, and yet is currently a very affordable place to live. Did you think about taking advantage of this opportunity and let it pass you by?

Sure, luck and timing certainly play roles in why some people seem to be able to take better advantage or have more opportunities presented to them, but I would argue it really has to do with them paying more attention to their surroundings.

The next time you are frustrated with yourself or your life or work situation would be the ideal time to practice exercising how to see and leverage the opportunities surrounding you. If you do not do this, you will only continue to remain in what I refer to as neutral gear. From my perspective, why would anyone want to stay in this gear? Live your life at least in first or second gear, and when you really start to take advantage of and having opportunities present themselves, you will soon be moving onto third, fourth and fifth gears which are way more fun to be living in.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales 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. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Did you know? My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon, and has been getting five star reviews! Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift, and is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers. Why? Because the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best.

(5) Tips on How to Find Your Confidence

How is it that some people seem to exude confidence, while others are on a perpetual journey to find it. If you are one of the people not as confident as you would like to be, or feel like you are faking your confidence most of the time, you are not alone. However, there are things you can do to boost your and maintain confidence.

If you’ve been following my blog articles for any length of time, you can probably guess whether I was blessed with the confidence gene.

As I meet and talk to new people, I am often stunned when the ones who come across as being particularly self-assured often share with me that they wish they were more confident.

This is an indication that it is easier to fake your confidence until it feels real. I’m not advocating being inauthentic, but you have certainly heard the expression fake it until you make it.

Having confidence allows you to pursue things others might not. People who possess confidence come across differently than people who have not yet found and harnessed theirs. Of course, it is possible to be confident about some things and not others. The trick is to work towards being more confident in a number of categories and not only a few. Becoming completely confident can take time.  There is no particular formula to calculate how quickly you can gain your confidence. The good news is that one day you will simply realize you are either almost fully confident, or exponentially more self-assured than you were.

So, how can you become more confident?

  1. Focus on something you like to do. Now think about how it makes you feel. Have people told you that are good at fill-in-the-blank? Hearing you are proficient at something can help to build your confidence.

 

  1. Develop skills in areas you are currently working on, especially if they are skills you enjoy doing. If you do not enjoy applying the skills you are doing to your life or career, I encourage you to rethink why you are doing what you are doing. Of course, there are aspects of every job or life skills we may not enjoy doing, but some of the ones we enjoy doing the least could potentially done by someone else at some point. Where you further develop skills you are currently working on, and gain mastery of them, this will be another way to bolster your confidence.

 

  1. Help others with the skills you have mastered. Doing this will make you feel proud, and in turn, more confident.

 

  1. Ask others who know you well what they think is something you do that showcases your confidence. You might already be exhibiting signs of confidence.

 

  1. Think about the people you admire and what makes them appear confident. Until you get there yourself, you can imitate what they are doing until you have more faith in your own abilities.

There are benefits to being confident. One is you come across as likable. Another, which everyone likes, is that you are more interesting, and potentially more desirable.

Your confidence will inspire others to follow and get to know more about you.  Don’t be surprised if people go out of their way to get to be your friend. Confident people tend to have more friends, more opportunities, and can enjoy an enriched life.

Let’s find or increase your confidence, as the benefits of having more faith and trust in your own abilities, are worth the effort!  Oh, and if you need an extra boost of confidence, just listen to the song ‘I Have Confidence’ from The Sound of Music.  Adjust lyrics to fit your personal situation.

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.

 

 

Believe in yourself. It will all work out.

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of a situation that does not appear to be going in the right direction and thought, how is this possibly going to work out?

If you have not, I don’t believe you, as this happens to everyone. Or, perhaps you have had more than your fair share of luck, or have been living in a bubble. Either way, a majority of humans have had both life and business scenarios with which to contend.  Those that don’t seem headed towards a favorable conclusion.  But then, lo and behold, the outcome is far better than expected.

So many people spend an enormous amount of energy worrying about factors they cannot control, or consequences which are not likely to happen.

I know a number of people who worry obsessively about everything.

I have a hard time relating to this, as I try my best to do the opposite, and guess what?

Things usually turn out better than I anticipated.  Sometimes fabulously so.

In the meantime, I do not expend any energy concerning myself with factors I cannot control or that will not realistically happen. For example, I’m pretty sure nobody will actually faint from nerves in the middle of a presentation.  Okay, maybe. 😉

Of course, there is that self-fulfilling prophecy thing, but I prefer not to succumb to the negative, and think about what good things could happen instead.

When you adopt the approach of spending less time worrying about negative consequences, you free yourself to apply all of your energy to much more productive work or activities. This is a far more desirable approach.

Once you begin to implement this concept, you will start to see more positive outcomes from this paradigm mind shift.

Visualization is a technique that can be overlapped and practiced along with more optimistic thinking. Using visualization simply requires you to close your eyes and imagine what you are worried about having a positive outcome. Many athletes and executive level business people leverage this, and agree it is enormously helpful. When you are able to envision the outcome of what you are attempting to do before it happens, is a way of essentially practicing how to have success or the outcome you desired.

There is another concept called The Secret, and without getting too deep into this method of thinking, I am a firm believer this concept also can contribute to having a desired outcome from any situation you can imagine. I know this because I have practiced it and am always amazed by the results. I encourage you to look further into this concept, because it essentially taps into leveraging powers you were not aware of, but that you have to work with.

If you do not believe me, give it a try, as you having nothing to lose and so much more to gain. I have coached people on how to leverage The Secret concept, and 100% of the time the outcome has surpassed what the person was expecting. The trick is to allow your mind to be open to the concept, and then wrapping your brain around letting go of any worries you have, or anxiety to allow the power of this concept to work for you.

Imagine an hour, half a day, or weeks of not worrying about whether fill-in-the-blank is going to work out. How would your life be different if you thought this way?  What if you had more energy to invest towards improving your life, career, or anything you desire to have more positive outcomes from? I know you can embrace at least one or several of these concepts. Trust and believe that in the end, everything will work out the way it is supposed to.  Even being fired could lead to a whole new, better-paying, more satisfying career.  It could happen!

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales 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. We also work with individuals from students to executives and business and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Announcement: My first business book called Wisdom Whisperer, is now available via Amazon. Pick one up, or get one for your friend or colleague. I’ve been told this is a great gift for upcoming college graduates, but it is also highly suitable for people in all stages of their life and careers, as the book format is like a buffet, and you can choose to read or not read the topics which suit you best.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reputation – Do you have one?

Building your professional reputation is literally something you have been doing one day at a time since you joined the workforce. You have also built your reputation one company at a time, one team at a time, and perhaps one project at a time, too. In other words, every company, every person with whom you work, and the projects to which you have contributed are all part of what combines to define your professional reputation.

How you handle yourself in each and every encounter is also a contributing factor that either adds to or subtracts from the value of your reputation. So, what happens if you have built a solid and positive reputation and you do or say something that has a negative impact? Is it possible to recover?

The answer is yes and no, and time, in many cases can work in your favor. Why?  Because most people are more focused on themselves than you, and not everyone will remember all of the details of the incident in question.

It’s probably easy to name several people who have fallen prey to being victims either by self-sabotage or because of another person or group who negatively impacted the perceptions of others.

This is one reason people or companies hire public relations or crisis management firms to help mitigate the damage done to a brand due to a negative incident. Tylenol, Perrier, Exxon and other companies all had major incidents which severely tarnished the brand.

Both time and redrafting their messaging helped restore the brand back to either neutral, or took them out of the harsh spotlight of scrutiny.

Now think about people who have seen their reputation tarnished. It is painful to watch, and even more traumatic to experience.  People find out who their true friends and supporters are in these instances.

The folks who faired best when their reputation took a turn downwards were the ones who had high degrees of emotional intelligence, but more importantly, surrounded themselves with a support network to help to rebuild their personal brand.

Of course, we are all responsible of our own reputations, but having a strong professional support group, can work miracles.

This is possible because the supporter essentially acts as a reputation buffer when the crash occurs. Having these human ‘airbags’ takes serious and quality time to build, but once they are in place, unless the incident was completely egregious, or ethically challenging, most people will be able to play a support role in restoring someone else’s professional reputation.

On the flip side of one’s reputation being damaged is what most people work to achieve. To have a stellar reputation.

As we all know, good reputations are earned, over time.

Since social media can build or break a career, reputations need to be simultaneously guarded, but also nurtured. The speed at which this communication channel moves makes it both positive and negative in terms of having an impact on the professional perception others have of you.

There are safeguards to control some of the negative aspects of social media, but more importantly, the positive attributes should be optimized.  It’s okay to toot your own horn once in a while – perhaps you won an award, earned a certification, or made a significant contribution to a business project, maybe you volunteered time to a worthy cause . . . take a bow, and build your reputation.

Although no one wants to have an incident impact their professional reputation, it can happen. Although the immediate aftermath feels devastating you can recover.  Do not to let it define who you are.

Most people are good by nature, and there are more who will forget what you did than remember what happened, or when. Keep your chin up, do the right thing when faced with tough choices, and most importantly, do what you can to preserve your reputation when you have an opportunity.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales 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. We also work with individuals and sports teams to coach them to learn how to leverage and apply their peak performance talents on a daily basis. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.

Announcement: I will be publishing my first business book next month. Information about how to pre-order my book will be posted on my WordPress site in the next few days. If you would like more details about my book, please send me an email at kathymurphy@me.com . Thank you. – Kathy

Women of Isenberg Conference: The organizers of this conference at the University of Massachusetts flagship campus in Amherst, MA, have invited me back for a second time to talk about my career in Marketing. If you are in Amherst, MA on Saturday, please let me know, as I would happy to say hello to you. This conference is ‘sold out’, so put this as a must attend conference on your calendar in February 2019.

 

When People Get Quiet

 

By Kathleen E.R. Murphy

Call it one of the senses, and I’m not sure which one, but there is definitely a sense you get when something is not quite right. This same sense can be applied where you work and I have unfortunately been 100% accurate in predicting something is going on in the office, and usually it is related to either a promotion, a firing or the company being acquired. Some might call this ability having a mild sense of psychic power, but whatever you might call it, my general sense is everyone has this same ability, but might not know how to tap into it. Having this ability can be both helpful and stressful, as it serves almost as a barometer of the pressure being felt in the office. 

There is a saying “the calm before the storm”, and I have seen and felt this more times than I care to admit. Most of the time something good is about to happen, but people are not allowed to talk about what will be happening, so they tend to get quiet, or act more reserved than they normally are. Conversely, when something ominous is about to happen, this same sense of quiet tends to permeate throughout the office almost like a fog. Generally a few people in the office are setting this tone, and the ones who are may not be aware they are doing so. However, there are signs you can pick up on to determine if something different is about to happen, and here are a few of them. 

  • The people who have knowledge about something going to happen whether it is positive or negative will generally start to have less eye contact with you prior to the “event” happening. 
  • People “in-the-know” will have a slightly different demeanor than they typically do (e.g., if they are normally very talkative, they will become less so). 
  • When asked questions which might either be on target or are close to what might be going on, the person who knows what is happening will potentially get fidgety and exhibit signs of being nervous (e.g., their neck turns red, they may start to sweat slightly on their forehead), or they quickly change the subject.
  • The response to your questions which would normally be longer, will be short and almost abrupt. 

If you encounter any of these behaviors occurring with the people who “know something”, try not to pressure them into telling you anything, as they generally are not in a position to do so. However, depending on how well you know them, and what type of relationship you have developed with them in the office, they may give you slight hints about what is going on, and whether it is a positive or negative scenario. People who are in management roles, and who may not have years of experience yet with change management occurring, will be much more transparent and easy to read than those with years of management experience. Of course this is a generalization, but more often than not, newer managers will have a more difficult time not wearing their emotions outwardly. This is not a bad thing, and it is part of what you learn how to deal with and do a better job of not revealing from an emotional or body language perspective. 

Being able to read what is going on and tapping into your intuitive senses allows you to  prepare you for what is inevitably going to happen. I’m not talking about a self fulfilling prophesy, but instead thinking through what your options might be when you have a sense something is happening which might impact you in a good or negative way. It is always far better to be aware than caught off guard when something in the office happens, as being too emotional in most office settings is not generally considered a good thing. Having the ability to control your emotions, and I am not talking about acting like a robot, but instead being composed on the outside even though you might me a hot mess on the inside. Most managers and upper level executives become quite good at masking their inward emotions, but being able to read the emotional cues they are giving off will serve you well in future situations when you will need to be composed and thinking clearly in any situation. 

Kathleen E. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Strategist and CMO of Market Me TooMarket Me Too has expertise in bridging marketing and sales teams and providing organizations techniques to accelerate their market growth, regardless of the industry they are in, or the business stage they are presently at. Contact Kathleen at kathymurphy@me.com.