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Archive for December, 2011

My 3 Wishes for the World – in 2012

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

I think it was Disney who said that a wish is a “dream that your heart makes.”  Wishes bother me a bit, because it just talks about intent or desire, it doesn’t really talk about action.  But, I fear it is the best word I can come up with for the following list of things for the world that I hope will come true, because I can’t do many of these things alone.  They must change via the collective, via many, via most.

Disclaimer aside, here are my wishes for the world in 2012:

1.  At least for the US – get health care under control – when I open up my daily email search on my first profession – pharmacy – and see that a major health care conference is being sponsored by….a bank…a huge bank for that matter, my stomach turns.  The US Supreme Court has granted cert on PPACA and will decide in 2012 whether or not the individual mandates to purchase health care insurance are constitutional or not.  The #1 cause of bankruptcy now in this country is…wait for it…health care bills.  Twenty percent (20%) of our GDP in this country is now spent on health care.  And friends, that’s insanely, insanely high.  We must get this under control in 2012, or we are doomed.

2.  Get a government that works – we’ve been lucky with a governor (in Indiana) who hasn’t bankrupted our state, but our legislature has been asleep at the wheel on so many issues.  Now, they’re going to close down the statehouse to the public.  Finally, Congress at the federal level?  I won’t even go there, because I don’t want this to turn into a Debbie Downer post – but please, people we MUST vote capable people into office that aren’t going to run our country and states into the ground.  Whether that’s picking your personally least-vile candidate in 2012, or something else – PLEASE get educated on the candidates running for the offices in which you vote.  Again, if we don’t, see the consequences of #1 above.

3.  Get more women running the show – In some states, women are actually losing their rights when it comes to abortion–not gaining them.  Furthermore, of the 100 Senators in Congress?  Only 17 of them are women.  The House is a little better – I think we have around 75-80 women there.  On corporate boards?  Women are rare.  Really rare.  I dare you to look up your favorite company and see how many women they actually have on their board.  One?  Maybe two if you’re lucky?  Yet, women make like 80% of all the buying decisions in this country.  There is scientific and financial evidence that companies with more women on their boards actually make higher profits.  But, the rubber isn’t meeting the road here yet.  These numbers just don’t compute.  Must. Fix.  See Miss Representation if you don’t believe me.  It’s a great movie, but it is scary, and unfortunately, right.

Trust me, I could go on and on, but I won’t push my luck.  If we could work on these 3 things for 2012, and get some better outcomes around them…?  My wishes for the world list would be somewhat satisfied.  I hope that they may come true…because they were made from this girl’s heart.

Thank God her heart doesn’t need an antihypertensive or a statin at this point…

Tribes for 2012

Friday, December 30th, 2011

Jim Rohn said: you are like the 5 people you spend the most time with…and I say, thus–choose your friends wisely.  So, in order to set my intent right for the coming year, I would like to indulge for a moment via this post to discuss what tribes and people I would like to get around the most for the new year.  There’s a whole camp of psychobabble/science that says you attract what you put out into the universe, so, why not try it?  Here goes:

1.  Entrepreneurs – of all the tribes I hang with, I love my fellow ‘treps the most.  Why?  Because they view the world differently than everyone else.  They’re not afraid to say, “What if…?” and they generally keep things awesomely positive.  Furthermore, I will go out of my way to help budding entrepreneurs too–they need the help and support, because starting a business is one of the hardest things ever (at least it was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done), and I want to help support them.  So, if you’re a current or budding ‘trep – bring it! Last but certainly not least – in particular, I’d like to get around super successful women entrepreneurs.  What do I mean by successful?  Self-sustaining and self-flourishing, with awesome business services and/or products.  Women go about business differently, with different objectives than men (as I unearthed in SWE and was quoted in Business, Networking & Sex this past year), and honestly, I want women who have “been there, done that” in my life so I can learn how to take business to the next level.

2.  Writers – writers are an interesting bunch – of those that I’ve hung around.  I mainly have non-fiction writers in my life.  Although I’ve found that generally most aren’t as open as the ‘trep crowd, many do both.  I want to get around more writers who have sold more books than I have in 2012.  What to ask them: How did they?  Where are they making their income from–advances?  Speaking?  Selling books?  Selling movie rights?  And how can I push myself to get more of my writing out there in the universe?  Some of my favorite feedback from the entire year last year was notes from fans who read my books and TOOK ACTION from them!  That to me is the best and most powerful thing about writing–creating action for others.  LOVE IT!  And would love to get around more successful writers than me in 2012, so I can better learn how to spread the love.

3.  Polymaths/Renaissance Peeps – most younger professionals already have the hybrid/multiple career thing going on – and I talked about this relative to entrepreneurship in Plan C.  However, I love modern day “polymaths” (? I think that was a term someone called it recently – I tend to call them Renaissance people).  Anyway – you get my point: I like being around people who do a lot of different things.  Why?  Because they like to fit together seemingly disparate things, as they believe everything is pretty much connected–and the more I think about it, the more I think they are right.  Besides, they’re just interesting people to talk to – I can learn something from them, and there’s nothing better than a conversation where learning is exchanged.  That’s my idea of fun too!

4.  People who scare me – shocker, I know, right?  I’ve only said this here at the blog about 50 times now.  But it is worth repeating.  I. Must. Get. Around. People who scare me more in 2012.  I need to have big, bold conversations around my own personal and professional self development–and more importantly, learn how to get our country back on track.  I want to walk away from these conversations with my neurons literally CHANGED IN MY BRAIN.  I want to thing bigger, and in order to do that, I’ve got to get around mentors and people who support big picture thinking, people who are about 50 steps ahead of me with their careers, and people who dare to dream.  Conversely, mentees I’m going to challenge more in the year to come.  So–be careful if you set an appointment with me, mentees–I’m going to hammer on you to dream and think bigger in the year to come too!

While we can each learn something from everyone, my time is going to be totally on smackdown next year, with a full load before finishing law school, and new courses on my plate with the day job–oh, yeah, and that thing called the Bar Exam.  I’ve already started saying no to extra stuff that just doesn’t fit the schema and plans for 2012.  However, I’ll find the time to spend it with the tribes I listed above.  If I set my intent (which I’ve just done with this blog post), I should channel my time and energy correctly.  Or at least that’s what I’m hoping.

My challenge to you with this post?  Figure out a few tribes you’d like to get more of into your own life for 2012, and put them on paper.  It’s scary how the universe will bring them to you, just in time, and just when you need them.

100% Authentically Y-O-U

Thursday, December 29th, 2011

I LOVE this time of year – because everyone on the planet talks predictions for the coming year – and as someone obsessed with tomorrow – this is right up my alley!

I’ve been doing a lot of reading this week (i.e. relaxing – a rare thing for me) before the spring semester, and one of the biggest trends or most frequent words I’m seeing relative to one’s career and life moving forward is this one:

authenticity.

Authenticity is apparently supposed to even now trump professionalism, according to Brazen Careerist.  I found this post on the “art” of authenticity.  Last night, I finished a book, The Wow Factor: The 33 Things You Must (and Must Not) Do to Guarantee Your Edge in Today’s Business World, where it actually suggested that ANYONE who wants to be a rock star professional should be blogging.

Wha…? Everyone?

Furthermore, the author suggested a few dos and don’ts, but if I read it right, it sounded as though she meant that wow level professionals should be sharing their authentic passions professionally online.

I will say that being authentic isn’t always easy.  In fact, it gets me in trouble sometimes…maybe even more often than not.  I usually label it as “fierce” when it falls into the realm of inequity v. justice and having the moxy to bring it to people’s attention–even if it isn’t popular.  However, I like the idea of authenticity.  If we all started keeping things real, I think our society wouldn’t be quite as jacked up as it is.  The counter argument to that of course is that people who are dangerous can also be authentic.

However, at the end of the day – we’re each and all here for a reason.  And I’m in the camp where I personally think you really can’t get to the WHY of why you’re here until you are truly honest with yourself.  That means being 100% you.  And as I tell my students, often, it is more important for them to know themselves better than anyone else.

If you’re already at 100% you, congrats!  Keep on chugging.  If you’re not?  Maybe that is something to consider for 2012…?  Not sure.  But I do know that I’m seeing that word in the ether of my own readings this week, and just wanted to share it with you.

Drywall, Dudes and Dames: My Review of the New Book, Left Hander in London

Wednesday, December 28th, 2011

First thought off the top of my head around the new book, Left Hander in London: wow.  Where to begin?

Second thought: as a single woman of the Midwest who statistically and technically is more likely to be shot by a terrorist than find a mate, I definitely can relate to JJ’s tough battle, albeit a very different reason and rejection by society.  (JJ is and has been married for over 30 years. I am still a mutant to some, being an awesome woman who doesn’t have a significant other…)  JJ also compares her struggle to that of being left handed in the past (is that an analogy, or an allegory?)  I digress…

Third thought: anyone who is curious about the life of a transgender should read this book.

I met JJ through a mutual friend, and I blogged about my meeting with her here before, but she’s the first transgender woman I’ve ever met.  She was kind enough to share a copy of her book with me (and in the interest of full disclosure, I received a full electronic copy of her book for review).  In reading her book, I have a new-found admiration for her and her 50-year struggle to finally become her freest, most true self.

JJ wrote this book in order to help others understand the journey of a transgender (in her case, from male to female)–and it is definitely not an easy road.  She candidly discusses her 50 year anxiety around becoming her best self, her plan for coming out to her circles (family, friends, co-workers, and others), her religion (Catholicism) and the lack of tolerance by some in religion to her change.

She also compares the struggles of her change and the controversy surrounding it to that of other tough subjects, like abortion, and even gender discrimination.  She, being uniquely positioned to view the world both as a man and a woman has some interesting and curious insights about how the other gender views us, and vice versa as well in the book (I’ll let you read the book and discover the drywall story for yourself).

But through her struggle, and getting past the controversy of being a transgender in Indiana, (which…eh hem…we all know Indiana is not exactly super open to change and trying new ideas on…) there’s a much bigger message in this book that I discovered, and we all need to ponder, which is one of: tolerance, acceptance, and unconditional love.  Even JJ discovers that she herself struggles with tolerance in her life, before and after her own transition:

“God created everything and everyone.  We are all made out of the same stuff.  He made some black, some white, some Asian, some straight, some gay, some transgender, some asexual.  Some are Muslims, some are Jews, some are Buddhists, some are Hindus, some don’t have an organized religion, some are Christians, etc. Rather than picking out the people or groups that I think God has judged or will judge negatively, I prefer to accept people as they are and love unconditionally.  I am not saying I am good at it, but I’m trying.” (page 126)

I think we ALL could use a hefty dose of more tolerance and acceptance of each other in this day and age, myself included.  I, too, am trying, just like JJ (and I’m not saying I’m good at it, either).  Whether it is a man explaining to a woman how to hang drywall, a church or mosque accepting all, not just some, who want to worship there, or a transgender coming out and becoming who they feel they are in order to match the inside with the outside.  I think that is the biggest and strongest message I received from the gift of reading JJ’s book.  And I hope you might consider reading it too–because our society could use more tolerance, acceptance and unconditional love, just as JJ discovered on her own journey.

We’re not good at that, but we should definitely try.

 

12 Ways To Have a Better 2012: Climbing the Summit of Awesomeness

Tuesday, December 27th, 2011

Goal time! I’ve been tweeting and posting and thinking…oh my!  (And I looked ahead to my astrological sign info for 2012 – it’s looking good.  Even MORE reason to get my goals on straight!)

But in chatting with some others online and off about it – I wanted to share with you some awesome ways to create your own very best 2012. Here are 12 humble suggestions. And be sure–if allegedly the world is ending in 2012, why not make it your best year yet?!?

1. How I write my own goals for 2012 – thanks to SheTaxi for allowing this very important guest blog post.

2. Productivity goal ideas for 2012 – if getting your productivity on in 2012 is your goal, check out this post!  I also loved this recently posted TED video on the battle between the present and the future self…something I try to work on each and every day.

3. Money year end goals for 2012 – head on over to my friend Pete The Planner’s site.

4. Finding your sweet spot in 2012 - take coach Darla LeDoux’s sweet spot quiz to find out – are you there yet?  If not, consider working with her – or any other awesome coach in 2012!

5. Increase your net worth via your network in 2012 – is rocking your network something you want to work on for 2012?  Then read Hazel Walker and Ivan Misner’s new book on Business, Networking and Sex, for just one suggestion, and learn how to appreciate the differences between the sexes when it comes to networking.

6. Quiet the monkey mind in 2012 – OK – this is probably something I personally need to work on this year, so when I get ready to do so, I’m going straight to my friend, Cassie Stockamp, as she personally believes one can achieve peace through Yoga!  I’m sure you have Yoga where you are too. Ohm…..!

7. Spread the love in 2012 – there are some cool suggestions at this site if you’re interested on spreading the love more in 2012.  And they don’t all have to be put into just one other person (i.e. the significant other).  Kidnap your friends for random acts of fun-lunchiness too – especially if/when you know they’re having a bad day.  LOVE!

8. Start that business in 2012 – WHAT, my friends, are you waiting for?  If you’ve got that new business idea you’ve always wanted to try, but something was holding you back, why not try it this year?  Read our new book and see how others started their own businesses the safer way, we argue, in Plan C!

9. Write on in 2012 – OK – selfishly – this one is for me.  And my writer friends.  But as an amateur writer, I’m always on the lookout for great training when it comes to writing and publishing.  If you’re in or around the Portland area and write business books, I highly recommend Todd Satterson’s BizBookLab too.  If you’re local to Indy, IMCPL has some writer’s workshops.

10. Go big or go home in 2012 – one of these days when I get free from the oppression that is law school, I will take off the shackles and get myself a real business and life coach.  If I had to hire one tomorrow, I’d hire Lorin Beller Blake of Big Fish Nation.  If I had to go local?  I’d hire Dr. Elaine Voci (although, technically, she’s already been my coach on a lot of different matters in the past.)  When you’re hiring a coach, try them on and see who is a good fit for you.  Everyone is different, and has different needs in their lives!

11. Kick the career up a notch in 2012! – A LOT of peeps out there are holding on to their jobs for dear life in the past few rough economic years, but I’m starting to see more of my friends go after their next dream job.  Remember–focus on your strengths, your uniqueness, and ALWAYS customize your cover letter (“match needs cover letter”) to ensure that you directly match up your skills and strengths to what the job posting calls for–each and every time you apply for that new gig.

12. Travel tips for 2012 – What’s that old adage? Something about if you spend money on travel, you actually become richer.  I like that.  And trust me, for 2012, I’ve already got my 2 week big trip planned post-bar to EU.  You should plan something too in order to get out of dodge and push your reset button.

There you have it! 12 Ways to get your best 2012 on – whatever domain(s) you choose to enhance/climb/rock out in order to get to the summit of awesomeness!  I hope you get there, and I hope you found these tips equally helpful.

 

Top 10 Blog Posts of 2011

Monday, December 26th, 2011

Happy Boxing Day!

Here it is – the post you’ve been waiting for!

I can’t end the year without laying down the top 10 blog posts of this tiny little blog in 2011.  They are ranked by order of traffic and unique visitors.  Besides, here’s the great news: if you don’t read my blog frequently but want to see where all the action was on it for the entire year, all you have to do is check this one post out.  Booyah!

Ready? Set….go!

#10.  5 Leadership Lessons I’m Trying on for 2012 – Great!  And I’m digging that some of my most viewed blog posts are coming near the end of the year.  THANK YOU!!!

#9.  Tell us about yourself – not surprised on this one.  I LOVE IT when people discover more about the deepest, darkest, most surprising secret and mystery of all human existence: themselves!

#8.  Twenty things to START Doing – I’m going to really practice what I preach here in 2012…honest!  My friend Nicole Fiorella also posted this post at her site – thanks to her for doing so!

#7.  Word Bias - GOOD!  Let’s keep the word “small” the Hades away from business.  ANY business in my book is HUGE!

#6.  Anticipointment – all I can say about this post is: EVERYONE has a bad week now and then…myself included.  I had a bad week that week.  Really bad.  BUT–what doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.  Ta!

#5.  It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.  Apparently I should be using more sports analogies…? Hmph.  Anyway, I like this sentence from that post as one of my favorite of the year about staying in the same place: “But that, in reality, isn’t always the best option for the change makers, the game changers, and those who truly want to keep moving forward in their lives.”  Keep moving forward, peeps!  (Oh, and my friend I mentioned in that post?  He moved on to a KILLER new job.  Good. For. Him!!!)

#4.  Driven, the Butler Way – Ironically, this post drove over to one of my other sites, yuspie.com, of course about my beloved Butler Bulldogs and the basketball tourney this year.  I love being a bulldog!

#3.  Calling in All Favors, For the Love of Andrea – Andrea was injured in the state fair stage collapse.  Although I never met her, I was HAPPY to call in favors and help spread the word on her recovery at request from a friend.  She’s still in recovery, and we are still thinking of her.  Follow her Facebook page to watch her recovery happen.

#2.  The Vault, Part Deux.  Dude, I don’t think I’ve ever had so many off and online comments about one post, EVER.  Apparently a lot of ya’ll have vaults too that you care to DISCUSS the management of!  This post sparked a lot of interesting conversation.  Props to ya.  Proper management of your vault is a MUST have.  (And yeah, the vile aforementioned who triggered the posts is still there.  And I’ve added some this year…and while it isn’t completely overcrowded just yet, the vault is still not a place you want to be…and it is still a very difficult place to escape.  You were warned.)

#1.  The most traffic on my blog during 2011 was:  To the Vapid Man.  This story got some national press, so I’m not surprised.  And I still think Mr. Vapid (aka “The Invisible Man” on his own email) should have come out from behind the gmail account and owned it instead of whining in anonymity.  Lesson on this one: if you see something wrong, get fierce, own it, and RIGHT IT!

That’s it!  The year in review via the blog posts.  You’re now officially caught up.  And to all who made this top 10 list possible – thank you again.  And BTW–this year I had some of the best web traffic I’ve ever had at this here tiny little blog.  I really appreciate your blogology-readership-patronage, awesomeness, and inspiration!!!!

The Greatest Holiday Gift of All

Saturday, December 24th, 2011

Woke up on Christmas Eve to the best Christmas gift of all.  I literally already received it.

It was an email and invitation to connect on LinkedIn from a scientist, who said the following in his invitation to connect note: “I read your book in 2 days, cover to cover – and I’m ready to make a career change!”

Friends, this is the PERFECT gift for me, because I write books to help people make positive change in their lives.  While my topics are kind of spread all over the place (entrepreneurship, life sciences, Indianapolis, pharmacy) – at the end of the day, the common thread is affecting positive change for the people who read them.

This is a very, very powerful force.  The ability and the privilege to publish has been one of the biggest and best surprises of my career.  As a kid, I loved to read, but I honestly never thought I’d write.  I channeled my frustration in having information and nowhere to put it into publishing books back in 2007, and I’m so grateful I did.

Seven books later, I need to thank you–yes, YOU, for giving me this extraordinary gift.  The power of the pen truly is mightier than the sword, and I love that I’m helping others through it!

XOXO and Merry Christmas!

2011 Holiday Card

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Merry Merry!

I’m a little late with this, but better late than never!

Cheers!

5 Leadership Lessons I’m Trying On For 2012

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

I read this article in Forbes today on the 5 Leadership Tips for 2012.  Here are my own, that I thought I’d share with you. That way you can hold me accountable, and better yet, create your own lessons that you would like to learn over the course of the next calendar year.

1. Extrication – I like the definition of this word: it means to free or release from entanglement.  I’m really going to try and focus on this for 2012 – to free myself from a lot of things I’ve done in the past in order to give me space to explore new options in 2012 and beyond–particularly post-law school.  Of all the words as overarching themes for the new year, I like this word and this idea the best.  I’m allowing the universe to free me a bit so I can start my own post-law-school metamorphosis.

2. True Friends – people who appreciate me and to whom I appreciate I vow to spend more time with and on in 2012.  In the past, I’ve tended to hold on a little too long to relationships with others who maybe didn’t appreciate me or I was trying to better understand why they treated me negatively.  No more.  I’m done.  I instead want to focus my time and efforts on those who show me the love, and get back to richer, truer and healthier relationships so I can authentically reciprocate the love rather than making it plastic.  This is also true in business–I want to work with people and brands I believe in.  I’ve also had to blow off a lot of my friends over the past 4 years because of law school at night.  For that, I’m truly sorry.  But, I promise that this year, I’m committed to getting back to making my friendships stronger–personally and professionally.

3. Spend time thinking about who I want to be when I grow up – heading into my last semester of law school, I’m feeling the ever-increasing pressure of providing a respectable answer to the #1 question I receive when chatting with others, “So…what are you going to do after law school?”  Frankly, I’m going in 2012 to 1. enjoy each moment as it comes and 2. listen more closely to the messages the universe is sending me when it comes to what I should ultimately do or be when I grow up.  (That, and of course attempt to pass the bar.)  I’ll let the universe do the heavy lifting, but it is my job to continue to explore and be curious about people, careers, and passion.  This is my super-sleuthing leadership lesson for the year.

4. Do the best job in the moment – I’m totally future-focused, so this one is a big one for me to work on – gotta get more in the moment and stop obsessing about some time point that isn’t even here yet.  This will probably be the hardest of the 5 lessons for me to try on and break in over the year.

5. More scary conversations – I need to get around more people who scare me.  I’ve talked about this here before, but I need to be around people who are going to test my skills, challenge me, and help me grow into a more successful professional.  I want to be scared after a mentor/mentee conversation (where I’m the mentee, or the mentor, for that matter…). This is going to take the most work of all 5 challenges listed above, but it is time for me to take myself to the next level, and that will require me to get around people who scare the crap out of me.  This includes personal, business, professional, and spiritual.

Now, these 5 themes will be woven into my tactical and strategic one-pager for my 2012 goals, but I think the tone of the overarching themes for the year are very important.  Why, just today I had to make a decision about something, and I used the framework of the 5 themes above to come out from under the hood of indecisiveness (yes, I literally had a hooded sweatshirt up on top of my head this morning).  But it is down now, thanks in part to these 5 Leadership Lessons I’m already trying on for 2012.

May you find your own leadership lessons, and good luck getting them on in 2012!

Innovation v. Entrepreneurship

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

Something is bothering me about these two words.

They seem to appear in a lot of the same places, and sometimes are used interchangeably.  But can innovation really substitute for entrepreneurship, and vice versa?  Let’s take a look at the definitions:

entrepreneur: noun. 1. a person who organizes and manages any enterprise, especially a business, usually with considerable initiative and risk.  2.  an employer of productive labor; contractor.  verb. 1. to deal with or initiate as an entrepreneur. (Fr. meaning one who undertakes.)

innovation: noun.  1. something new or different introduced; 2. the act of innovating; introduction of new things or methods. (La. renew, alter, or equivalent.)

OK, in my mind, these two things aren’t the same.  Yes, there’s some overlap.  But I think of them as a venn diagram – two circles that overlap–and the space where they intersect covers both.  Because entrepreneurs can be innovative, but they don’t necessarily have to be.  For example, if someone opens a franchise, is that innovative?  It’s new.  But it isn’t really different.  It’s been done, just maybe not in that specific geography.

On the other hand, there can be overlap.  If you think of the traditional French stem of the word “entrepreneur,” which means to start something, starting things can be new and different–but not necessarily.  A lot of entrepreneurs reapply the ideas of others.  Again, not really innovative.

Do you see why I’m a little disturbed here?  The two words are not directly interchangeable.  The problem is, I’ve got to edit part of a book (and you know how I feel about editing, ESPECIALLY other people’s stuff) where I’m seeing the authors kind of mix these two terms up, and the LAST thing I want to do is make students perplexed about entrepreneurship.  It should be explained in an easy and fun way.  And while innovation CAN be part of entrepreneurship, it doesn’t necessarily NEED to be included.  And vice versa.  You can be innovative without being an entrepreneur, and you can be an entrepreneur without being innovative.

<sigh>…

(I’m really just stalling from starting my editing…can you tell?)