Routine and the glittering prize …

Living by the coast I spend much of my spare time along the shore-line. The combination of energy by the sea, oxygen in abundance, the space, solitude (apart from the dog of course,) are a great combination for inspiration.

I like to scour the shoreline for sea-washed glass. Just fragments of colour glistening amongst the sand and pebbles. The sunlight catches them and I’m always tempted to pick them up and slip them into the pocket. It’s become a routine now. You can picture it can’t you?

The dog bowls off in one direction and I’m stuttering along, picking up pieces of broken treasure in the hope of discovering the best piece yet. Blue is the favourite, then green, yellow, brown. All types of shapes and colour. imgres.jpg

Much to the dismay of Mrs Kenny (the ‘better half’) I’ve managed to now gather a really healthy collection of ‘pocket trinkets’ that only come to her attention when they somehow manage to confound the spin dryer …

A little like networking?

No, not the spin dryer! I spend a good deal of time with my network colleagues, it has become another pleasurable routine. The routine here though is keeping an eye out for the glittering prize of referral, all shapes and sizes of referral.

These come along through my understanding (like visiting the beaches) that when I’m on patch, when attending The Forum I’ve an opportunity to hear what others are looking out for. How can I help them, where might I find the prize they look for. I’m learning to keep an eye, as well as an ear open for friends I see on a regular basis.

Good referrals do not come along readily enough for some. Maybe that ‘some’ don’t frequent their patch regularly enough? It’s often the case when people errantly declare“networking doesn’t work for me.” Of course these are disappointed, perhaps because they have yet to educate others as to what it is they seek.

Make the networking routine, embrace the structure, the opportunity of picking up the not so perfect and understand that we are learning from the not so perfect, training our senses for the time we recognise and reach for the glittering prize.

Unsubscribe, go on!

“Good morning …so here’s something really special for you today.”

Ever get the feeling that the whole world is on a sales pitch?

As a self employed, multi-tasking ‘all things mastered’ professional of today I found myself asking (again) how do I really get the right ‘stuff’ – the real business, done?

Daily I’m bombarded with easy access outlets, offers of contribution and participation and the promise of an easy way to grow the business (heard that one before?)

It can be tough just completing the basics don’t you think?

It was until recently for me also.

I was bound up in the routine. Unaware that I was over-run by an ever-growing multitude of ‘habits’ that were forging my expectancy, testing the comfort zone.

Know the feeling?

Sure I made the choices to participate, although in today’s business I find all are driven to allocate certain times to chosen tasks that may not directly benefit us whilst enticing us to be all things to all channels, so to speak.


I do understand that for some in business this really has become the norm’. There is no time to ‘pencil in’ (remember the pencil?) that push for new business, the growth. Some of my closest friends were just too busy with that “same old ever growing routine!”

I’d had enough. So … I took time to take action. Some small, practical steps I needed to make to implement change. I felt driven to get back some ‘me and the business’ focus.

I found what was NOT WORKING in the roller-coaster routine. I looked at what I could consider quitting and how much TIME I could retrieve to invest in MYSELF.

By making one or two small adjustments to the daily necessaries, by taking the decision to change – it felt good. Very good.

By simply quitting the habit … the NOT WORKING FOR ME, by choosing opt-out, unsubscribe, saying no and creating the ‘new’ I had ditched the negative, created the space and invited the opportunity for growth.

Try it … dare you kick the habit(s) to really see what’s working?

My best friend

“I’ve had enough.”

Many times I’d heard this from Alice and never really listened … now I couldn’t help but notice, as she uttered the words, the decibels were definitely a notch or two up on ‘the norm’ and I noticed also, she didn’t look particularly happy.

‘It’s too hard, they’re not listening to me, I’m not getting a return on my calls either.’

Alice is our sales lead, she is very good at her job, connects with people, emotive and knows when to ‘close.’ Alice is a valuable ally. Sales was something I was involved with some years ago so I could in part understand her frustration, although there was something else bugging her, I could tell, good at connecting yes, but I sense she’d lost the connection with herself.

Her ‘best friend’ was copping a verbal battering:
‘I don’t think I’m cut out for this, there is not enough consistency, I’m not getting the results and I feel like a failure. I’m just don’t think I’m good enough anymore…’

‘Take a breath, sit back, go for a walk and if you’re still not happy, change.’ I suggested.

Alice was not in a good frame of mind. Warily, I persisted.

‘If you are not happy, change … change something.’ I added.

Like most, Alice thrives in a ‘positive’ environment. If there is something in the way of our happiness then we need to consider change. So, we walked, we talked and agreed that we’d start from the beginning, realise the goal, understand she is successful, change the approach to match each individual day and monitor growth on a daily basis – if there was something that wasn’t working, we’d remove it and start again, we’d be pushing the limits for satisfaction, keep our ‘best friend happy.’

Why not try this test yourself?

Are you satisfied with where you are?
If not, what is ‘still’ the same – what needs quitting?
Consider the ‘next level’ of where you wish to be – and how you can get there.

Just like Alice … ‘Easy done!’ I hear you say.

Think of it this way … would you continue keeping all your money under the mattress if a trusted friend had found you a failsafe way of doubling your net worth?
Would you go to the gym and practice the same weights, day in, day out with the same routine and wonder why you are not getting the results you want?
Perhaps you are doing just what ‘you think’ needs doing to move ahead, although realising that you are staying in the same place?

We all have the opportunity for change at any given moment. To impact our ‘now’, our future outlook, our personal or professional goals for well-being and ultimately happiness.

Alice still berates herself (her own best friend) on occasion although she is now very much in control and even reminds me from time to time, being happy means to embrace change.

The one golden nugget

What do you get reading about elite performers … about their drive, their discipline? It’s different feelings for each of us as we hear how others set out to achieve ‘best in their field’ status – learning more about themselves as they work at reaching those goals.

It’s great to hear of their dedication, their trials and the lessons in pursuit of accomplishments. Understanding how they’ve failed, they’ve developed.

It’s personal, that’s what is in it for me. That’s the ‘motivational nugget,’ the personal message.

I was walking off a beach the other evening and bumped into a local triathlete, it was around 7pm and ‘Bea’ having been in the water for the past hour, was off to bed. We had a little banter about ‘staying the distance’ and the sometimes obsession that the elite athletes have with gain, with beating the clock and the physical peak that seems to make up most of the cause.
As impressive as all the athletes are, behind each is a story. With Bea she talks about lots of stuff, including the toll her sport takes on her now 27-year-old body. She trains up to 6 hours a day, 5 days a week. It’s a level of physical dedication most of us find hard to fathom.
Just as Bea was making her way home for a well-earned rest, she hinted:

“People don’t realise how mental it is. As much as I pursue my passion, I feel like I have a really, really, good workout, just once a month.”

Bea loves the sport, amongst the dozen or so locals she trains with she will be the senior member of the group although she ‘hangs in there.’
But in the course of 6-hour workouts, 5 days a week, over an entire month, Bea only credits herself with having one good workout.
Bea makes a point of saying she is a perfectionist, that her own high standards are why she feels as though she only has one good workout a month. The rest let her down. … let… her… down?!
While her pursuit of perfection are admirable, she also certainly has a large margin of forgiveness. How else could she show up so often and put in that many hours on the understanding that most of what she does is not really any good.
I had to disagree with Bea on something though – I think most of us DO realise that routine and pursuit of goals is a mental challenge. It’s the harder part.I simply think we don’t know how to manage the mental aspects of our efforts with consistency and confidence.I think we’re conditioned to believe that every workout should be good, the best.
We tend to beat ourselves up if we don’t perform at peak, skip an hour or miss a particular circuit routine and we’ve failed.

The good news is, our own efforts rarely need to be as finely tuned as our triathlete. Our success is not dependent on such a high level of perfection. In fact, our ideas of perfection are merely perceptions that evolve with increased experience and competence. As we develop, we expect more.
One advantage (just one?) most ‘dedicated’ athletes have over us, is that in most cases someone has gone before them. There are rules, expectations, and often, established paths that when followed, aid in their growth. Of course there are no guarantees in the results they may be looking for but by following the plan, they’re well on their way to measurable results.
You and I though, not quite such the ‘elite athlete’ perhaps as we juggle our own daily challenges, find it difficult at times to choose who to listen to or what system to use. We’re distracted by every new idea under the sun, thinking there must be an easier way. We want to hear of the new trick to get us more sales or a better app to help us be more organized. We try a new social media platform believing it will magically change our business, and if we don’t try it, we will surely fail.

Lets just keep … it … simple.

Like I said, I love individual stories. The personal draws me in.
There are patterns everywhere if you look for them. The patterns tell their own story and interestingly enough, they reveal the easier path almost every time.
Here is a great ‘routine’ given to me by a friend … see what you think:

Decide – Know what you will be doing before your day begins. This will be your plan. Without it, you’re just making things up.

Prepare – Know where you need to be and what you need to have with you to execute the plan. If your plan is to make 50 sales calls, you gotta get organised, probably need 50 names, 50 numbers, a phone, and a notebook.

Show Up – Get yourself to wherever the plan says you need to be, on time and ready.

Do the Work – Do whatever the plan said to do. You’ve made a decision, now is not the time to question the plan or skip the steps. Show up. Do the work.

Repeat – You get the idea. Decide again. Tomorrow’s plan will probably be a bit different. Athletes work on all aspects of their game to achieve success. The goals may not change. The larger plan is constant. The daily plan may look a bit different. It’s time to decide again what’s on tomorrow’s plan.

OK, so you missed a day? Something happened to derail the plan? You only made about half the calls?
That’s no problem, because you’re not done. You didn’t mess it all up, it’s part of the plan …
Keep it simple. Start at Decide and go at it again tomorrow.
Let’s stop making it harder than it needs to be. Let’s stop winding ourselves up about this new app or that new method.

Find your ‘motivational nugget’ and let’s stop allowing a bad day to spoil the whole effort.

You don’t need to be perfect. In fact, you probably won’t be. Keep showing up, doing the work and understand that of course it’s not about the goal – it’s the journey on the way to that one golden nugget.