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.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

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 .

What’s your business energy level?

Having spent decades crafting my marketing and indirectly my sales skills, there is one thing which always sticks out in my mind about each of these disciplines. It is how every aspect of what we were doing was measured.  Talk about feeling like you were always under a microscope. Or, being constantly judged on the metrics associated with your discipline.

Being under continuous surveillance can take its toll on people. Although there may be some exceptions. Granted measuring results is a fundamental part of business, but what if and what are the measurements used to determine employees or the company’s energy level?

The first thing which comes to mind is the annual employee satisfaction survey which is sent out. Does this really reveal how satisfied employees are, or does it simply give them an opportunity to vent? This method isn’t going to be helpful in determining energy level’s, but short of applying medical practices (e.g., taking your temperature, blood pressure), is there a way to establish people and company energy levels?

Leaders of companies who are gifted in the emotional intelligence (EI) category are generally perceptive of how other people, and collectively what the energy level of their company is. Although this gets harder to determine when a company has over 50-100 employees. However, even if a leader is able to assess their company energy level, it is still hard to quantify this level amount. More importantly to note, it is certainly subjective.

So, is it possible or reasonable to think there are ways to determine a company’s energy level? If a company knew what it’s energy level was, and let’s say it was low, what could they do about this?

Here are some suggestions I have seen companies apply to help boost their collective energy level:

  • Rally around an organization or cause which could be in alignment with what your company does. If this is too challenging to find a direct alignment with another cause, then mutually determine one to work with. Focusing on helping others is an excellent way of changing a company’s energy level.
  • Consider physically moving to another work area within your company. Several of the companies I worked at had us move our desks every 3-6 months. The energy level of our teams soared when we did this, and it caused people to have to collaborate well together to make the move happen. When you change your physical location, it also does wonders for your overall attitude too.
  • Give your employees something to look forward to. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive to invest in, as it could be as simple as asking a food truck which specializes in desserts to randomly show up outside of your building. If the company can pay for this treat, even better.
  • Dedicating a day a week to do something different at your company also can pick up the energy level. For instance, how about having teams take turns to BBQ for each other one day a week, make waffles or ice cream sundaes or perhaps something healthy?
  • Borrowing from one of my other story ideas, how about having weekly or once a month lunch-and-learns ? The topic can either be work or non-work related. The non-work ones of course will be more fun, and you will be impressed to hear about the hobbies and subjects that your employees are enthusiasts about!
  • Pot luck lunches are lots of fun, and a low-cost option which I have seen the company energy level increase. For those employees who are competitive, throw in a prize or prizes, either monetary or simply bragging rights to who has the best, fill-in-the-blank for the item they made. Hint, pies, chili and cookies are easy contests to run.

Although I do not presently have a subjective measurement for you (yet), to help you know what your energy level is, start out with trying some of the suggestions above and see if you notice if your company energy level improves. Also, be aware if your own energy level improves too. Most importantly, be as creative as you can be with trying out different activities to give you the energy boost you are looking for.

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.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

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,

 

Invest in yourself to be interesting

How often have you said to yourself, or others, “I just met the most interesting person!” If this is a frequent experience, consider yourself fortunate.

If you’re like the majority of people who simply go about their daily routine, and you do not work in an industry with tons of opportunities to meet interesting people, chances are you are not putting yourself in enough situations to warrant meeting cool people. In general, if you ask someone enough questions, you are bound to learn something intriguing. Or, perhaps you are, in fact, an interesting person and either do not realize this, or give yourself credit for falling into this esteemed category.

What one person considers an interesting person, another might find to be a bit of a bore. Thankfully, we live in a world where there are a variety of people and types of work they do, hobbies they have, places they have lived, experiences they have had . . .

Some people take a more calculated approach to enriching their lives, hence putting themselves into a category of being a more interesting human being. Depending on your interests or goals are, and what type of finances you have or are working towards, can restrict some of your potential for doing or having out of the ordinary experiences.  For example, when’s the last time you . . . dove in the tropics, climbed a mountain, sailed around the world, learned a new language, or any of a dozen more adventures?

Having limited funds should not be an excuse. There are a myriad of things you can do that cost little or no money, and can head you towards becoming a more well-rounded, fascinating person. Here are five suggestions to help you become a more dynamic and interesting human being.

  1. Think about who you find interesting. What makes them interesting? Could you be like them at some point in the future?

 

  1. Lots of people talk about creating a bucket list, of things they want to do before they leave this earth. Put one together so you can have something to strive for, and to talk about once you have ticked off the various items.

 

  1. If the things you want to do will cost money, start saving – set aside a separate account or lock box. Saving for things you want to do is great way to make them happen, and ultimately an investment towards making you more interesting.

 

  1. Are there things on the list that you are afraid of doing? If you cannot get past the point of giving them a try, consider talking to a professional to work through any issues. Chances are, you might regret not doing what you always wanted to, because you were afraid. Have you heard that F.E.A.R. is an acronym for False Emotions Appearing Real.  Don’t let your mind prevent the rest of your body from doing what it wants to accomplish.

 

  1. Find a friend, work colleague, or anybody else who might be interested in doing the things you want to do, but do not want to fly solo. If you ask enough people if they want to do X, chances are you will find someone likeminded. If you are a salesperson, you already know this and should apply your sales skills to developing your interests.

There really is no excuse about why you cannot invest, improve upon, or strive towards being more interesting than you are today. Everyone has an equal opportunity to invest in themselves. So, why not go for it? Start applying some or all of the tips above and before you know it, you will be on your way towards creating the person you always knew you could be.

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.

“NEW!” Guide for Teams:

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,

 

 

How’s your attitude? Is it helping or hurting you?

For the sake of conversation, let’s assume you have a good attitude. About most things. However, what if you don’t realize your attitude fluctuates throughout the day, and not in a good way? Do you have people who would tell you that your attitude needs to be adjusted? If you are fortunate they will.

Confronting someone who is less than enthusiastic with their attitude can be intimidating, especially if their attitude is more often on the side of a bad one. The added challenge is wondering what to say to them about their attitude, and how they will react to you calling them out on a bad one.

The good news is that even if it will be a challenging conversation to have with them, doing so can be beneficial to both parties. You will benefit from potentially having them change their attitude to a better one, and they will be in a more positive mood.

When you work with or live with people who are chronically agitated, or who you would classify as having a bad attitude, it can be more stressful for the people who have to deal with them. Sometimes the people who have the bad attitudes are not aware of how they are acting. I know this might sound ridiculous, but it is possible. The problem is that they are not aware of how they are coming across to others.

Being unaware of how your attitude is impacting others is a serious problem, and one you will need to address if you fall into the category of having attitude challenges. If you are fortunate, you will have colleagues, a boss or friend who can call your attitude issue out to you. When they do, you might be defensive and deny you have any issues. Don’t do this, it won’t serve you well. You are going to need to be open to hearing about the fact you have challenges with your attitude.

Consider the fact that it wasn’t easy for the person or people confronting you about your poor attitude. The fact they are is because they want to help you, not hurt you. Listen to what they have to say, why they think your attitude needs adjusting, and what can be done about it.

Since we do not have on and off switches, it might not be that easy for you to remedy your poor attitude. However, you are going to need to do some thinking about what got you into this situation. The challenge you have is that you might be unaware of why you have a poor attitude. Or, you may not be aware that you are not actually hiding your negative emotions which are spilling out in a less than desirable way.

What if you are in the category of someone who isn’t surrounded by others who would tell them their attitude seriously needs to be adjusted? Here are some tips on determining whether your attitude is erring on the side of hurting you, potentially both professionally and personally.

  • Others have started to avoid including you in on social opportunities.
  • Colleagues who have collaborated with you in the past are now avoiding having to work with you. Even if it means more work for them.
  • Fewer people are having conversations with you.
  • People may be treating you differently, as they are intimidated by your attitude, and not in a good way. You are in fact potentially repelling people based on your bad attitude.
  • You have less patience than you have had in the past, and you are taking your lack of patience out on others by being either rude to them, or less polite than you usually are.
  • When you are thinking about future work or interactions with other people, you are less motivated and have trouble focusing and doing the quality work you generally are accustomed to performing.

The good news is that attitudes can in fact be adjusted back to a positive one. However, the first step is recognizing that your good attitude switch has been turned off, or put on pause. Consider yourself fortunate if you can recognize the fact your attitude needs adjusting, and even more fortunate if you have others who care about your attitude negatively affecting you and them. Good luck with resetting your attitude back to a good one. It will serve you much better professionally and personally when it is back in good attitude alignment.

Kathleen E. R. Murphy is the Founder, Chief Performance Strategist and CEO of Market Me Too.  She is a Gallup Certified Strengths Finder Coach, author of Wisdom Whisperer, and 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.

 

Regrets are a waste of time.

A friend of mine asked me if I had any regrets. Upon seriously and carefully thinking about this question, I said no. I do not have any regrets. How could I think this way? This is possible based on the way I have trained myself to think, and it comes down to having eliminated the regret category as an option in my life.

When I think back to when I made the conscious decision to do this, I can tell you with almost one hundred percent certainty when this was. Without going into personal details, I can tell you it was at a point in time when I was at a critical decision crossroad. Would I have evolved my thinking about eliminating regrets had I not been in this situation? Possibly, but the point is I’m sharing this with you, because you do not need to be in this exact situation to have the same benefits I gained from eliminating regrets in my life.

Freeing yourself from pondering and carrying a load of regret is truly liberating. It also allows you to have a new lens on the opportunities around you. Your energy level increases, your outlook on possibilities skyrockets, and life can be so much more enjoyable.

Sure, many people will easily succumb to taking the easy road and continue to harbor and carry their regrets around. Some may even consider these regrets to in a morbid way be a badge of honor. I feel sorry for you if you do, and can only encourage you to give some of my tips a try. If you are serious about moving past your regrets, chances are in your favor you these tips will direct you towards a far better place emotionally.

Where do you start to change your mentality with casting your regrets aside? Here are some tips to consider.

  • You know I love lists. So, I’m asking you to first make a list of all of your regrets. Don’t leave any off this list, no matter how trivial you may think they are.
  • Put your list away for a few days.
  • When you come back to your list, cross off the ones you can mentally come to terms with dropping. Starting immediately.
  • The regrets that remain on your list, are there for a reason. However, you need to give yourself permission to forgive and forget them. The key to do this, is to allow yourself to go through the process of mourning these regrets. Now, put a timeline on how long to do this, and then literally tear up, burn or throw away the list and say goodbye to them.
  • If you think analytically about regrets, but remember, we talked about them not actually serving any constructive purpose. We can be our own worst enemy with allowing ourselves to build up our regret inventory, and we have the same and greater power of eliminating them from our mind.
  • If some of your regrets are associated with offering an apology, then go ahead and make the apology. In person apologies are best, but a written one will do too. Perhaps both.
  • Most regrets are based on decisions, inaction or actions we chose to take. Stop thinking about the decisions you made which are regret based, and allow yourself to come to terms with owning them. You may not be happy or proud of these decisions, but they are part of your past. Emphasis is on the past, and they do not have to define who you are going forward.
  • Write down the date you will begin your journey of not having any regrets. Consider it to be similar to a birthday or holiday, and worthy of a celebration. Look forward to celebrating on this day annually, and do not dwell on what the regrets were. Instead focus on all of the amazing things you have done since the day you released yourself from all of your regrets.

What can you do now that you have a new set of tools to eliminate the regrets in your life? Help someone else to get to the place you have arrived at, and give them the gift of not having any regrets. In other words, pay it forward, as I have done so for you with this advice.

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 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.