096: Doubt, Fear, and Indecision [Podcast]

Are you suffering from doubt, fear, and indecision? I am. In fact, I have been for some time. It is a dark and deep hole. I have been wondering where to go next. It is not a matter of work alone – it is much deeper. For the past few years I have even turned into a sorta hermit. I quit meeting and networking. I was just sick of it all. Everything seemed empty and hollow. Some of the steps I took I think actually prolonged the misery. I was burned out and bored with the entire game, so I just checked out. While we all struggle with these very feelings from time to time, staying here for a long period of time can result in depression, anxiety, and physical pain.

doubt, fear, and indecision

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5 Steps to Conquer Doubt, Fear, and Indecision

The kicker came when I tried to leave my mastermind group. They pursued me and would not leave me alone. I was irritated at first, but that lifeline has jerked my chain. I had to make some changes. So this post is about what I am doing now. I run into so many people who are struggling from the same issues where doubt, fear, and indecision are ruling their lives. I can sense it. Often it shows up first as boredom. Boredom is a dangerous place to be (more on that later).  So I wanted to share some steps I am taking now to get moving. They are helping – but it is very slow indeed.

  1. Break up the routine. Doing different things in different ways. You are in a rut, so break out of it in simple ways. Go to work a different route. Eat lunch at new places. Take up a new hobby.
  2. Take action. Even if you do not know exactly what you need to do next, you probably have some ideas. Take small actions. Make a weekly plan to do SOMETHING toward your likely new goal.
  3. Journal. Think. Meditate. Whatever you do to clear your mind, do more of it now. And if you do not journal – perhaps now is a good time to start. It helps you get thoughts onto paper and get clarity.
  4. Connect. Reach out and meet more people and ask for feedback and learn about their path. This goes with #1 above, you need to get new people in your life, at least for now.
  5. Get active. Dan Miller, author of 48 Days to the Work You Love, says when you lose your job, you need to double your time in the gym. Whatever you do, get moving and get active. If already active, get more active. It helps clear the head and helps you think.

 

 A note on Planning:
Planning is an awesome thing, but planning when you do not know where you are going is not productive. Imagine if you were going on vacation, and did not know where. Before you would start planning for the trip, you would decide the destination.  Plans depend on the desired destination. Do not stop and get caught up in planning when you have not decided where you are going.

Some other ideas:

  • Pray. I did not say this on the podcast – perhaps I just assume it. But wow, I should never assume. Pray. Ask for guidance.
  • Start a vision board. Find pictures that show the life you want to be living, and capture them and put them on a board. They can be places you want to live or travel or things you would like to own or do. Just a picture for what you would like life to become like. Your brain really connects to images – so give it some positive images.

Be at Hoover library for Information Engineering Managements first lunch and learn of the season! See you there.

Date: April 30, 2015
Time: 12:00 pm
Event: Engineering Your Career - Turning Your Technology Skills into Bigger Cash
Topic: Engineering Your Career - Turning Your Technology Skills into Bigger Cash
Venue: The Hoover Public Library
Location: 200 Municipal Lane
Hoover, AL 35216

095: Who You Spend Time With Is Who You Become [Podcast]

Do you like who you are when you are with your friends? Jim Rohn, business philosopher, says that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. I totally agree with this, and I have seen it modeled in my own life. If you look around, I am sure you see it in yours. But, who SHOULD you be spending your time with and who should you be avoiding? And how do you get around those people you want to be around?

Who you spend time with is who you become

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If Who You Spend Time With Is Who You Become  then …. Who Do You Want to Be Around

  • Child Test – Next time you are hanging with friends, ask yourself “would I want my kids (even if you do not have any) to be with these people?” If yes, you may have a winner. If no, then you need to ask yourself why you are not comfortable.
  • Encouragement Test – You want to be around people who encourage and motivate you. Not that they need to complement you constantly, but they somehow inspire you to be a better you. These people are often willing to call you out when you need it.
  • Model Test – Are they living the life you would like to be living. Something about them is admirable. Could be they are successful in your business field, or could be they are stronger Christian’s. Whatever it is, they model something you admire and want to be more like.
  • Reciprocity Test – This is not a one way relationship, you can add value to their lives. You do not want to be a user or a predator (see below) so you want to make sure you add something into their lives also. Even if these people are mentors, you need to have something to offer in return. It may be just friendship or allowing them to guide you and help you – but they need something from you just as you need from them.

Who Should You Avoid

It is nice to talk about who we want to spend time with  but who we should avoid is a tougher call – often because we are already heavily embedded with them. There have been times in my life when I looked up and realized I spent almost all of my time with the wrong people. One common way to realize this is that you find yourself doing things they do, and you do not like yourself for doing it.

This is a tough situation. So start with looking for why these people are the wrong people.

Note: Getting away from these people takes a lot of strength and courage, but the first step is identifying the problem.

Bad Influencers – This group can be full of fun and adventure – but in the end they are destructive.

  • The Drama Queen – This person is always in a drama. They often need you, and often at bad times, such as late at night.
  • The Deceiver – Mixed in with the drama king or queen is the deceiver. I do not mean people who tell you lies, that is likely all of us. I mean those who habitual twist the truth and deceive you. People who lie so often they begin to believe their own lies.

Predators – These kind of people drain you and your energy and motivation. Problem is, they are often people very close to us. I see many people who are dating in these destructive relationships.

Predators are often insecure and need you (or someone else) in order for them to feel important and needed. They can be hard to spot, and it is even worse if you are one.

  • The Controller – They often will manipulate you into spending time with them through guilt. They may want to even dominate you and your time when you are at a party or around others. Signs of this is they answer questions for you, or when someone else is talking to you, they come up and get in the conversation and turn it back to themselves.
  • Uses you – These people are all about them. They act like friends as long as they need something, but then they disappear until they need something again.
Negative Souls – Some people are not really bad but they are negative. They talk bad about people, often in a nice way making it hard to spot. They may assume the rich are evil, the poor deserve to be poor, or that people of other races are trouble and cannot be trusted.
More commonly, they are the ones who will complain about work, the boss, the company, and co-workers. Very likely, they are who you are having lunch with today.

How to Change Your Bad Influencer Network

1. Admit you cannot change them

Our first mistake is to think we can change someone. We see this most often when someone realizes they are dating the wrong person. They think “he or she is wonderful if they would only start….” and then they begin to justify it with all kinds of words.

– He/she is really a good person, just a little confused.

– He/she just needs to get away from their parents/friends/hometown and then they will be OK.

– He/she is really trying to change, it just takes time.

If you find yourself saying ANY of these things – look in the mirror and tell yourself you are now the deceiver. You are deceiving yourself and your friend. In fact, you might be part of the problem. They might change only when you get out of their life. They may need the wakeup call. You might be the bad influence. You might be their crutch. Either way, you have to take action to change you, not them.  

 

2. Add in the right people

The best way to get away from the wrong people is to replace them with the right people. Get involved in something else. Go where the people who you want to be go. The classic is men and women who hang out in bars hoping to meet Mr or Miss Right.

When you do add in the good, expect turmoil. You have gotten comfortable with the drama. And your destructive friends will often make it difficult.

 

 

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If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

094: Should I Charge for My Services [Podcast]

A recent message to my voicemail (message played on the podcast) was challenging me on why I charge for my service when so many people were in need. The question reflected what I often hear from people starting in business “Should I Charge for my services?”

Should I charge for my services

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Three Views on “Should I Charge for My Services?”

We can view this question “Should I charge for my services?” from three different views:

  • The person who needs help and does not have the money to pay
  • The business person who needs to feed their family, but wants to help those in need
  • The non-profit, who sees it as their job to serve for free.

Here are some realities of this question:

  • No money = no value: I do not mean that your free and volunteer services are not worthy, but when people do not pay, they do not value. Just look at any neighborhood where government money is used to support or supplement the rent. Only a few of those homes will be well kept. The others are not valued. No investment.
  • Non-profits chase money: The sad truth about non-profits is that they have to chase money to stay in business. So rather than focus on those they are there to serve, they have to focus on those who donate and support their mission. Running a non-profit well is a very challenging job – and few are up to it.
  • For profits have leverage: When I want to impact a large group, I need money to do that. If people are paying, then I have resources to expand my message and help more people. Done for free I can only impact those I can work with directly. With income, I can hire help and get resources to expand.
  • For profits give: The best leverage of a for profit business is that they can (and most do) provide for needs of others. When someone comes with a need and cannot pay, the business has leeway to offer their services for reduced rates or free on a case by case basis.

 

So if you are desperate and need help, do not be afraid to ask for what a business might be able to do. And if you are a business, do not be afraid to charge what you are worth.

093: When to Start a New Venture | Interview with Howard Ward [Podcast]

This is a guest post from Howard Ward. Howard writes a blog about turning critical thinking into critical doing called “The Critical Doer” and you can follow at criticaldoer.com

For anyone looking to start a new career or a new business, what you want to do and how to do it are not the most difficult decisions in putting your dream in motion. In reality, the most difficult decision is when to begin and the answer generally revolves around one thing…risk.

Opportunity knocks

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For the purpose of this discussion, risk will be defined as the difference between two points that exist in any decision…known and unknown. Most people understand this concept, and even follow the natural extension of the thought that risk mitigation is the process of critical thinking that shrinks the difference between known and unknown.Where many struggle however, is the point in the process where a decision is made on an acceptable level of risk where action can begin. It is human nature to want to drive risk to zero. In reality, nothing will ever happen if you feel compelled to drive risk to zero. The following graphic illustrates the relationship between risk and opportunity:

Risk vs Opportunity

As you can see, when risk is zero…so is opportunity. As willingness to accept risk increases, so does opportunity but you’re also keenly aware that potential for negative outcomes increases as well. If you ever want to move beyond thought and get to action, you must decide on an optimum level of risk. From the optimum point, you must establish a range of acceptable risk that will drive your decision to open the door when opportunity knocks…once. Here are some ways you can attack risk and drive it to an acceptable range where action can begin in order to capitalize on an opportunity that will bring you fulfillment:
  1. Prepare before you begin. For a major undertaking, ensure you are physically, mentally, spiritually, and financially prepared. Any new venture will bring challenges. They’re difficult enough when you’re prepared…they’re likely insurmountable if you’re not.
  2. Get the facts straight. Numbers, not adjectives, are the basis of a business plan. It’s likely someone is already doing something similar to what you’re considering…you’ll be surprised how willing they are to mentor you if asked. Read books and take classes to expand your knowledge base…you know what you know, but not everything there is to know.
  3. Build a network. Careers and businesses are about people as much as products. Get involved with folks who can share knowledge, make contacts, provide mentoring, or heaven forbid, even become customers!
  4. Commit to action in the acceptable range of risk. Many good deals are completely lost by sacrificing acceptable for optimum risk. Strive for the optimum point of risk to begin, but if you’re in danger of losing an opportunity while risk is in the acceptable range…pull the trigger and never look back.
  5. Plan for success. You probably already know to plan for failure, but you’d be surprised how many ventures ultimately fail because they had no plan to capitalize on their initial success. Ensure you are equally as prepared to build on success as you are prepared to deal with failure. Additionally, when your only contingency is for failure, you are handicapping yourself as humans tend to self-fulfill expectations. Expect to succeed, have a plan for it, and make your self-fulfilling prophecy a positive one.
Managing risk is a part of life. You can either manage it, or it will manage you…and the opportunities for fulfillment will be marginal. There is a measure of science for calculating risk and shrinking it to a manageable level. The acceptable range however, is a personal decision that you must make in order to have a point for launching into a sea of opportunity…or continue treading water where you are. I encourage you to take the last step to decide the timing to pursue your opportunity of a lifetime and boldly answer the door when opportunity knocks.
You can find more about Howard Ward at criticaldoer.com.
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Some of Howard’s Related Posts:

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If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

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Sharing with homeschool parents on planning for college and life.

Date: June 19, 2015
Time: 02:00PM
Event: High School : Keeping the End in Mind
Topic: High School : Keeping the End in Mind
Sponsor: CHEF
Venue: Gardendale First Baptist Church - South Campus
Location: Gardendale, AL
Public: Public
Registration: Click here to register.

Looking forward to joining the PMI Central Alabama Chapter for their 2015 Symposium.

Date: May 8, 2015
Time: 03:45-4:45 p.m.
Event: Leadership From the Cubicle
Topic: Leadership From the Cubicle
Sponsor: PMI Central Alabama
Venue: Embassy Suites
Location: 2960 John Hawkins Pkwy
Hoover, AL 35244
Registration: Click here to register.

092: How to Find a Job |Finding Hidden Opportunities [Podcast]

Last week in Episode 91- Who is Hiring –  I talked about who is hiring. Today I will give you some detailed examples about how to find a job. These are real examples. And last I leave you with a few hints to find new opportunities in every conversation.

How to Find a Job

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Review My Podcast

If you offer me a review of the Company of One podcast on itTunes, I will do a free 30 minute coaching session with you. In these coaching sessions I will help you with any questions you need. To get some ideas of how I work with others, see my coaching page.

Here is how to leave an iTunes Review:

One you leave a review, shoot me an email telling me

  1. That you left a review under your id.
  2. What country you are in. (I need this because iTunes is country specific)

I will send you back a link to get on my schedule for a coaching session. The link will include a few questions that will help us make the most of the time we have.

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How to Find a Job

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Covered in the podcast today I will give you this information:

  • How finding a new job is like finding a customer.
  • Why you need to think like your customer.
  • Why the old method of sending a resume and responding to job ads does not work.
  • Examples:
    • How I got a job offer when they were not hiring.
    • How Frank got a job offer at a level he never expected.
    • How I found a sales job at a healthcare company.
    • How I found an engineering safety and quality job at a company who was not hiring.

Related Episodes:

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Resources

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

091: Who is Hiring? How Do You Find the Companies Looking for People? [Podcast]

Who’s hiring? That is one of the most common questions I get when I speak to career transition groups. I will start by asking them what questions I can answer that will help them quickly move from unemployed to employed. Someone usually says “Who is hiring? That is what we need to know. And how do we find those employers who are hiring?” The answer to their question is simple, but takes a little explaining.

Who is Hiring?

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Who is Hiring?

The fast answer is everyone is hiring. There is not one single company or individual (besides those totally destitute) who is not open to hiring someone. The trick is finding out what they will hire you to do.

How do I know everyone is hiring? Assume you are out of a job and frustrated with the search. You are feeling demotivated and feel like you could give up, but you know you cannot. I approach you and offer you this proposal:

I can get you a good paying job that you will enjoy in at most 3 months. But between now and then I will have you on interviews that will excite you and empower you – giving you a renewed hope and energy. It will cost you $6000, paid after you start working again.

Are you listening? Are you interested?

Sure we have to work out the details, but for most sane people, they are at least going to enter into a conversation with me. Why? I am talking about their current pain.

…So in this example, you are out of work, and you have just hired me! (Or at least considering it.)

Pain is the issue. In the above example I have demonstrated that even most unemployed people desperate for work are open to hiring someone. But more important, if I learn about YOUR CURRENT pain and have a solution, you too are hiring. We are all hiring. When I can find your pain and offer a solution for your pain, suddenly you will be open to hiring me. 

What about companies? They are no different. The only logical reason a company will hire is because the boss does not want to do the job he or she is hiring for. Pain. They either need to stop the bleeding and fill an open position to solve problems, or they are looking to grow and need help in the growth. Again, pain.

How Do I Find The Pain

Once you understand that everyone is hiring, then you need to know how to go find the pain and where to start.

Finding the companies

If you live in or near any decent size town (and it can be small) there are more companies and potential employers than you can possibly talk to. So you need to find the right companies. Here are some hints:

  • Companies you like doing business with – Go to the companies you like and buy from. You already know their products and services and since you buy from them, you probably like them.
  • Companies doing what you love – If you love helping the elderly, find companies who do that. If you love outdoor sports, what companies are out there doing outdoor activities.
  • Companies that interest you – Anything else that creates interest. The key is, you need to go somewhere that you will be interested in the products and services they provide.

How to use LinkedIn to find people and companies

Getting an interview
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Forget the formal interview. Instead, go ask for advice. Reach out to the person in charge. Think about the person inside that company who has enough power to hire and fire. Ask them for an appointment, not for an interview. Tell them you would like to learn about their industry so you can decide if you want to go after a career in this business. You can tell them you are out of work, but that you want to search for the right fit this time and are just looking for advice.
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When you go in, ask for advice. (Yes, you should be dressed professionally, at least as nice as they are dressed.) Ask them what it is like to work in this industry. Ask them how they got to where they are. Ask them what their greatest challenges are in their job. (I like to ask “What keeps you awake at night?” hoping they do not take me literally and tell me the neighbors dog) Point is, get them talking.
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When you are done, ask them who else you should talk to. Even ask them for an introduction. Then thank them and leave.
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OK, what was the point? 
 What did you just do?
  1. You got them to like you. How do I know? If you did what I said, you got them talking about themselves. And as Dale Carnegie would say, “if you want someone to like you, get them to talk about their favorite subject, themselves.”
  2. You learned about the business, from the inside. Now you know more. You may have been excited by what you heard, or disgusted. Either way, now you know.
  3. You have an inside track. If you want to work at that company, you know the person to start with. Forget HR.
  4. You know the pain. This is VERY important. Remember asking them their greatest challenge? Their answer was their pain. If you are talking to someone at a high enough level, their pain usually translates to lost revenue or expenses. In other words, their pain cost $. Did their pain sound like something you would LOVE to solve?
For most people, they also find this kind of fun. The pressure is off from the formal interview, but it was very much an interview. They got to know you, and you got to know them.
What next?.
Do it again. And again.
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The Results
The result will be job offers. Trust me.
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More Information?
To learn more about this process, see my posts on reverse interviews.

Resources

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If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN ITUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.

090: Dealing with Overwhelm [Podcast]

Overwhelmed? Recently, I spent some time in Dallas with members of my mastermind team and one topic that kept coming up over and over was the feeling of being overwhelmed. So, we decided to take an hour out and talk about strategies for dealing with overwhelm by learning what each one of us does when we feel overwhelmed. I took notes, and now I share them with you.

Dealing with Overwhelm

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Strategies in Dealing with Overwhelm

Decide

  • Define what really matters: We tend to think we can do everything and serve everyone. We can’t. Give it up. Figure out what really matters and focus your attention there.
  • Just Say No: Say no to almost anything that is not a HECK YES!!! Once you have defined what really matters, this is easier. A great read on this is the book Essentialism.
  • Say yes once: Related to the Just Say No, learn to focus on what really matters. Just say yes to the number one thing. Everything else falls away.

Look Inside

  • Recognize it is emotional: We tend to get caught up in our own drama and think things are worse than they really are. We put unreasonable demands on ourselves, often because we expect these are the things others want from us. We have to step back from the emotions – the anger, resentment, fear, and worry – and look at really what the problem is.
  • Move from FOMO to JOMO: Change our view from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out ) to JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Resign from boards you do not care about. Quit activities that do not matter. Have the joy of focus.
  • Recognize that overwhelm is not a solution: So often I hear people tell me “I am just overwhelmed right now” as if by saying it they gave released tension and solved the problem. Sure, they got to vent, but nothing is solved. Getting bent out of shape never solved anything.
  • It is your story: Rather than thinking about what others want us to be, recognize that we can make up a new story. What is your story? What do you want it to be? Dave Ramsey is famous for saying that we can wake up and look in the mirror and decide today who we want to be tomorrow. That is freedom.

Take Action

  • When we get negative – get active. Go for a walk, workout, or do something physical. One of our members said “When I feel overwhelmed I go for a walk and meditate and pray. I invite voice of God to answer.”
  • Exercise: Usually when deadlines get tight, people stop working out. Big mistake. Keep regular exercise as  priority. If the busiest people in the world have time for it, so do you.

Connect and Seek Counsel

  • Talk it out: Sometimes having someone to talk to helps you develop clarity. If you do not have a friend who will be quiet and listen, tell your dog. If you do not have a dog, borrow one. They will still listen.

Have Faith

Every member of my mastermind team is a Christian so much of their view of life comes from their faith. Here are some things that came up.

  • Fatih: Trust in God to control things and stop trying to do it all. The world does not depend on us to hold it up.
  • God will lead: This was a freeing statement to me “It is impossible to chose the wrong path – every path you chose is God’s plan.”

What works for you when you get overwhelmed? Share your thoughts with me on my NEW Facebook page!

Subscription Links

If you have enjoyed this podcast, please subscribe to it on iTunes. To subscribe, go to iTunes and hit subscribe! You may have to click the button that says, “OPEN IN iTUNES.” You can also find Company of One on Stitcher.

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Your Feedback

If you have an idea for a podcast you would like to see or a question about an upcoming episode, e-mail me.

Also, if you enjoyed the show, please rate it on iTunes and write a brief review. That would help tremendously in getting the word out! Thanks.