What do you believe?

Regardless of what you are able to envision – see yourself in some future – nothing actually comes to being until you believe.

If there is doubt, you don’t believe.

You might think it’s possible but you just don’t believe it’s possible for you.

I recognized this recently in my own life. I believe possibility for everyone else but myself.

It’s difficult to believe, without evidence. If it’s happened, then it could happen. If it never happened – how do we believe?

I recently looked at two docuseries o Netflix: Naomi Osaka and Colin Kaepernick’s ‘Colin in black and white.

I keep thinking about them both and about belief. Naomi’s belief about being able to win saw her eventually beating Serena Williams. Colin was great at baseball but wanted to play football. Despite not many believing in him and everything around him playing football, looking terribly bleak, he believed in himself.

This is the challenge: to believe without evidence that you can. There is no history. Only imagination. We can never cede creative control to anyone else.

I’m currently reading ‘Untamed’ by Glennon Doyle. Because I describe myself as a recovering people pleaser this line spoke to me:

I lost myself when I learned how to please.

In one of the chapters, she talks about Alicia Keys who decided at one point that she was going to discontinue wearing makeup. At an event following this statement, someone ‘caught’ her and called her out on putting on lipstick. Her response “I will do what the fuck I want!”

We can make our rules.

We can break our rules.

We can do whatever works for us, no apologies.

Glennon says “maybe we are all fire-wrapped in skin trying to look cool”.

I agree.

We are all walking around with light buried within, desperate to fit in when what we need to do is freakin’ explode with all our goodness.

Before belief comes imagination and here’s an important question to contemplate:

How can we begin to live from our imagination instead of our indoctrination?

Things will fall apart when we choose to live authentically. The old house needs to come down before the new one can be constructed. We need to start telling our truth even if it makes every one in the room uncomfortable.

Question and reexamine your beliefs. Why are you so afraid? What can you do today to start living a new story.

Give yourself the gift of fifteen minutes a day visualizing what you wish to have happen. Make no excuses. Accept no limitations. If you can see it, then you start to feel it, the next thing you know you will believe, and that’s when dreams start coming true.

Take the first step.

insta-success is clouding your vision

Last night I watched a four part series on Amazon Prime called LulaRich.

It chronicles the unraveling of LuLaRoe. Known for their buttery soft leggings, the infamous multi-level marketing company went viral promising young mothers a work-from-home salvation. LuLaRoe’s eccentric founders recruited an astonishing army of independent retailers to peddle its increasingly bizarre and defective clothing products…until it all went wrong.

What was interesting to me was the number of women who bought into the promise but were served a nightmare.

Everyone loved the idea of having a business where they didn’t have to leave their homes or their children. Then they started to love how easy it was for them to earn money.

Throughout the series there are many red flags, most of which were highlighted in this Rolling Stones article by Elizabeth Yuko.

  • Changing the refund policy after they knowingly delivered less than acceptable merchandise
  • The leadership established themselves as untouchable, infallible and owed obedience
  • “These people at the top are portrayed as near godlike figures. They are enlightened beings, and the epitome of good people, just trying to help you,” MLM and pyramid scheme expert Robert FitzPatrick says in the documentary. “That’s the culture of a cult.”

Mark’s theory of financial success:

If you want to create incredible wealth, identify an underutilized resource. And there’s an underutilized resource of stay-at-home moms.

  • Onboarding costs ranging from $5,000 to $10,000 were financially out of reach for many prospective LuLaRoe consultants, but that was spun as a small price to pay for the independence and prestige of owning your own business, and being able to do it while staying home with your kids. According to several former sales reps and full-time employees interviewed in the series, company leadership encouraged women to do whatever it took to get the money they needed to turn their dream into a reality — including opening new credit cards, taking out loans, even selling their breast milk. 
  • Mark and DeAnne Stidham weren’t content influencing just some aspects of LuLaRoe members’ lives — according to the docuseries, they wanted total control, to the point where their consultants were entirely financially dependent on the company.
  • As former sales reps explain, once they had a successful business up and running, the company made it clear that their next goal should be “retiring” their husbands. That’s not a euphemism for getting rid of them so the women could run off to form a matriarchal society where all waistbands are elastic. The idea, on the surface, is to provide your husband with the financial freedom to quit his job, so he can stay at home and help you grow your business. What it really means is that women should step back from the business they worked so hard to build, and relinquish all control to their husbands.
  • At that stage, the household would be entirely dependent on LuLaRoe as its sole source of income, likely being in such extreme debt that walking away wasn’t a possibility. This is strikingly similar to the cult-leader tactic of making members so reliant on the group that they believe they have no other viable options. 

For many women, it didn’t feel right but they kept going more and more into debt to sustain an external appearance that they were successful. In the end, women lost their husbands, their homes, their cars and their dignity.

You can create success on your terms.

Usually if it’s too good to be true you need to pay attention.

It is never a good idea to invest with debt and a promise that you will make back the money. Be wise.

We love to chase what seems easy. We love how it looks – the glamour – the cars, the clothes, the credit cards…but you really have no idea do you, what is going on in someone’s life.

If you can look at the series I encourage you to do so. Lots of learning, many a-has and a cautionary tale in four parts.

You need to ensure that you are managing your own destiny. That you understand how things work. That you don’t get caught up in the pomp and celebration and join in pretending it’s OK even though your gut is telling you otherwise.

Your success track is based on you. Not anyone else’s model and certainly you don’t want to be promised independence but are really being served reliance.

Don’t let insta-success cloud your vision!

where are you selling yourself short?

You may have been brushing over this question for a long time. Even if you haven’t put it into words to form the question, you have had a feeling…a knowing…that all is not right in your world.

On the outside, you look OK and feel OK but you know that you are not OK.

You long to create a life around finding solutions to the things that really piss you off. Sometimes you feel that only you can see the injustice, the pain, the unfairness. You want it to stop for you. You also want it to stop for others.

But how?

And why you?

Why do you even care?

You face self-doubt and indulge in self-deprecation daily. Why do you beat up on yourself so much? Why are you so angry with who you are?

Perhaps your anger has a message.

Perhaps now is the time for you to invest in you. In your message. In fulfilling your purpose, even though you can’t articulate that perfectly right now.

Your life is a paradox of sorts.

  • You want help but struggle to ask for the help you need.
  • You want to use up all of you – your gifts and talents and strengths – but you don’t know how to do that and not sure that you can actually be yourself in this crazy world. What would happen to your safety if you were to step outside of this predefined set of steps that are supposedly leading to the success you’re yet to experience?
  • And if you actually act on your foolishness (yeah, right now you aren’t even respectful of the idea that you have and that it’s legitimate AND viable), how are you going to earn enough to support you?
  • Despite being surrounded by folks you call good friends, and a loving family who supports you through thick and thin, you feel alone.
  • Are you saying “yes” to things for the wrong reasons and at the end of your giving you feel depleted and low energy?

If you’re anything like me, you’ve been at this personal growth thing for a long time yet you remain in a twilight zone. You see your destination but you can’t seem to break past the barrier because you can’t even identify what that barrier is!

I suspect that you probably get signs and nudges daily to go in a particular direction, yet you ignore them. Self trust is a big issue but forget that for a moment. Simply follow the clues you get daily. Pay attention. I remember someone describing them as Godwinks. This is the real test of your faith. I know because I have been limiting myself for a very long time. Including not writing here on my blog because I felt I really had nothing new to share.

Today’s message is clear.

You HAVE to invest in yourself!

You need to stop selling yourself short. (Want to begin to figure out your specialness? Click here). You have that thing that’s gnawing at your insides, that only you can do.

Today is your sign to begin, or continue but by all means – don’t stop…don’t quit. There are people waiting on your solution, your perspective, your help. You cannot disappoint. It is imperative that you act NOW!

What vaccine sceptics and potential buyers have in common

Business owners have always been frustrated with potential clients. Why can’t they just see, or hear our advertisement, pick up the phone, call us, and order?

Oh if it were so simple!

When we conduct focus groups, they tell us that “yes!” we will definitely be interested in this service, want to buy this product; yet in reality, once the launch happens, we feel as if we are pushing rope, trying to effect action.

To be clear: this is not a post about anti-vaxxers nor is it a post about vaccines. This is a sales and marketing post, but I do want you to see, that whenever something is new – service, product, or vaccine in this case, we will always have early adopters, and those of us that need more information, before we make a decision.

We no longer live in a time where people follow expert advice blindly. The democratisation of information allows individuals to take personal responsibility for their lives, including their health. Each individual decides what feels safe, and what they can absolutely live with.

In fact, we have encouraged this. We ask people to compare two products, read labels, examine ingredients, mull over specs, compare apples to apples etc, and be generally diligent. Our potential buyers’ hesitancy and by extension, vaccine hesitancy is par for the course. It is however not the end of the world.

One of the greatest risks to the long-term success of any product or service is overpromising the benefits while understating uncertainty. When we are making our product or service recommendations, we need to offer clear information about why we are different, what are our strengths and what are our limitations. The reality is we all have limitations. Similarly those who recommend vaccines — whether against covid19 or other vaccine-preventable diseases — must offer clear information about the differences among vaccines, including their varied strengths and limitations.

This is an important step in empowering consumers and reducing hesitancy especially in the case of the covid19 vaccine, where our lives might literally depend on it.

So what does it look like to be a buyer or sceptic?*

  1. I’m feeling insecure. I’m not sure I know how to detect which of the finalists is the genius, and which is just good. I’ve exhausted my abilities to make technical distinctions.
  2. I’m feeling threatened. This is my area of responsibility, and even though intellectually I know I need outside expertise, emotionally it’s not comfortable to put my affairs in the hands of others.
  3. I’m taking a personal risk. By putting my affairs in the hands of someone else, I risk losing control.
  4. I’m impatient. I didn’t call in someone at the first sign of symptoms (or opportunity). I’ve been thinking about this for a while.
  5. I’m worried. By the very fact of suggesting improvements or changes, these people going to be implying that I haven’t been doing it right up till now. Are these people going to be on my side?
  6. I’m exposed. Whoever I hire, I’m going to have to reveal some proprietary secrets, not all of which are flattering. I will have to undress.
  7. I’m feeling ignorant, and don’t like the feeling. I don’t know if I’ve got a simple problem or a complex one. I’m not sure I can trust them to be honest about that: it’s in their interest to convince me its complex.
  8. I’m sceptical. I’ve been burned before by these kinds of people. You get a lot of promises: How do I know whose promise I should buy?
  9. I’m concerned that they either can’t or won’t take the time to understand what makes my situation special. They’ll try to sell me what they’ve got rather than what I need.
  10. I’m suspicious. Will they be those typical professionals who are hard to get hold of, who are patronising, who leave you out of the loop, who befuddle you with jargon, who don’t explain what they’re doing or why, who …, who …., who …? In short, will these people deal with me in the way I want to be dealt with?

It is tempting to be dismissive about those hesitant to buy from us. Be honest. We sometimes look at our potential customers with disdain. “They just don’t know better. Dey go ketch they backside with company C.” Yet dismissing those who are hesitant as ignorant ignores the complex ways in which people weigh information before making a decision to buy.

Similarly, blaming conspiracy theories for a growing distrust of vaccines, because refusing a lifesaving technology, particularly during a pandemic that is poised to kill, seems irrational but dismissing those who are hesitant as ignorant or anti-science ignores the complex ways in which individuals and families are weighing information and trying to make decisions that feel safe and relevant to them.

It won’t harm to revisit Stephen Covey’s fifth habit from the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, still relevant even after 30 years: Seek first to understand, then to be understood.

We must first understand our customers – truly understand, not pay lip service to – and then communicate addressing all of their concerns.

Like most people, we seek first to be understood; we want to get our point across. And in doing so, may ignore the customer completely. Fact is, we listen with the intent to reply, not to understand and so don’t hear when we are given valuable pieces of information that can help us deliver a more aligned product or service.

Don’t promote a narrative that everything you do is effective and essential. Give your potential customers all the information they need so they can make what feels like an informed choice. Doing so should make it easy to assure them that working with you is both effective and necessary, and accept that there are some things they still don’t know and uncertainty is par for the course.

*Source: David H Maister, Managing the Professional Service Firm, 1993

When exactly will you feel successful?

I, like many others, have been watching the Olympic games and with that, the advertisements that support me being able to view the games from the comfort of my home.

There are advertisements for new cars, investment propositions and guidance on how to transact business online with ease.

This got me thinking about goals.

There is so much about what’s available and what are some of the requirements needed BEFORE we get those things (down payments, credit approvals) etc. But we’re left to figure out the “how” and that’s when setting goals can become depressing.

We’ve been involved in goal setting from our childhoods to present day. First it was about successfully completing an exam to transition from primary to secondary school. Then the exams to transition from there into the world of work or to pursue a tertiary education. After that it was all about getting a good job and being paid well so that we could finance our new home, cars and of course yearly vacations.

Does it ever end?

Is it that you’ll wake up one day and say, “I’ve arrived!”? When is it that you will actually feel successful? When will you reach that ultimate goal you keep working towards?

Justin Kruger, CEO and Founder of Project Helping asks – What if goal setting is a lose-lose proposition?

Think about any goal you’ve set. When you reached that goal, did it change your life? Did you become happier for having reached it? Inevitably, we set goals with the idea that when we achieve that goal, when we get that thing, or accomplish that goal we will make it and finally be happy. However, one of two things typically happens.

  1. We either reach our goal, only to find that nothing has changed and so we feel the need to set yet another goal.
  2. Or, we don’t reach our goal at all and instead gain the inevitable feeling of failure and loss.

In either case, what was truly accomplished?

Justin had been living with a mental health challenge, but no one close to him knew that he was struggling.

I had a great job. I was successful. It seemed like I had everything – and truly I did. But privately, I was struggling.

When he started Project Helping, he didn’t do it with the goal to grow it to a certain size. He didn’t do it to raise “$X” or help “X” number of people.

His intention was to provide people with the same experience – the same “ah-ha” moment he gained, and to feel what he did the first time he volunteered. If he could do just that – it would be incredible.

Retirement or making a certain amount of money was never at the forefront of my mind. A few simple guiding principals – goals per se – help me make decisions. These principles give me a tremendous amount of purpose and drive in my life:

  1. Be a great Dad. I have little ones and they are amazing. Exhausting, but amazing. I don’t have a preconceived notion of what my kids should accomplish or be, I want them to be happy, kind, and work hard. That’s it. Everything I do it to help show them how to find their passion in life and live in that passion. Nothing more.
  2. Be a great husband. My wife is the best person I know. I don’t have a goal of being married for “X” number of years. At this point, I don’t have any concept to what a “good” marriage or what a “bad” marriage is. If I do everything I can, every day to be the best husband I can be, the rest will work itself out.
  3. I want to continue to help as many people as we can at Project Helping. Every decision that I and we make is with that mission in mind. How can we help more people and make sure we are around for a long time to deliver our innovative solution to anyone and everyone who needs our help?

Those are my goals. I love working towards them a little more every day. I will never “reach” those goals, but I will also never NOT reach those goals (yes, that’s a double negative). That’s the beauty of it. I have strong guideposts that I am adamant about working towards and they are all I need to make every decision I will need to make in my life.

Think about your goals.

Think about how you are setting them and why you are setting them.

What is it that you want?

I feel that when we are able to reframe our goals, we get to enjoy the process and like I also say, if you focus on the process, the results happen.

I’d love to talk to you more about what’s happening in your life and which goals seem elusive to you. If you want to chat, get in touch by clicking here. Would love to hear from you!

Climbing one mountain always exposes another peak

Daily Om

“Life is an uphill battle”, I’m sure is a phrase that you’ve heard or said yourself countless times.

Life can feel tough at times. Like now. COVID 19 has changed everything. It seems that we are facing more challenges like never before. Just when it appears as if everything is under control – less people are getting the virus and even less people are dying from it – boom! We hear of a new variant! With no end in sight this can feel downright scary.

In our own day to day, we are also overwhelmed as we strive for perfection despite everything that’s happening in and around us.

This striving for perfection is not new though. We are accustomed challenging ourselves to perform without flaws yet is this even possible?

When was the last time you did something 100 % perfectly and where did you get the perfect standards against which you could measure your perfection? Ahhhh that’s right – you made them up based on something you saw on television or read about or discovered on social media. You saw someone’s end result, where they outlined the steps without the struggles.

And that’s the reality. We all have mountains to climb.

Life will always challenge us and within every climb, we are sure to meet obstacles. Life is actually a combination of rock climbing and mountaineering.

In mountaineering the focus is on summiting the mountain. The ultimate goal.

In rock-climbing, the biggest adjustment for most people is the vertical environment. In most other activities, when you feel tired you can stop and rest. Not so with rock-climbing. Since you are clinging to the side of a mountain, you are expending energy just staying where you are. In other words, when you stop, you’re not resting; you’re fading.

When you’re rock-climbing, as in your own life, you have to keep moving. If you’re not moving up, you’re moving sideways to find a better route. Even moving backward (when you must) must be strategic. If you pause to rest, you will quickly find your energy depleted, and you will move downward at an alarming pace; that is, you will fall.

Any growth requires you to operate in a vertical environment, and you must constantly keep moving up, or you will fade and slide backward. In life, resting will only result in you falling if you choose to remain in that position perfecting your next move. If we waited until everything was ‘perfect’ before we did anything, we would just always be waiting.

Our best is not a mountain peak. It’s going to always change as we grow and evolve and once we conquer one peak, we’re certain, that another will reveal itself and that’s OK because that’s life. The only thing constant is truly, change.

What is your mountain peak today and what obstacles stand in the way as you ascend? Click here to see some of the obstacles standing in the way of many professionals today.

Tolerance despite differences

We all wish that everyone could think like us. After all our point of view is sound. We know what we are talking about and…well…we are right.

There is so much intolerance these days. As I read comments on posts I am amazed how rude and disrespectful some people are as they defend their rights to comment and state their case.

In such cases we resort to being aggressive, patronizing and insulting.

Is there another way?

I believe that we all have a right to our feelings, beliefs and values, however, and this is a huge HOWEVER – we must be practice the art of tolerant compromise.

What does that mean?

When you practice the art of tolerant compromise today, there is likely no reason at all why you cannot continue to love, esteem, and respect those individuals whose opinions and ideas differ from your own.

The outcome

You may be pleased to discover that you can easily relate to a wider variety of individuals. In this same vein, minor disagreements with family and friends will probably provoke spirited yet friendly debates rather than angry confrontations.

This is not to say that we adopt the values and beliefs of others. But we can respect that their life paths have offered them a different set of experiences that shaped their beliefs and values, whether you think they are right or wrong.

Adopting an attitude of tolerance will allow you to get along with others even when you do not see eye-to-eye today.

Open-mindedness will take you that much further than remaining insular and guided by your limited life view.

Our design is enduring

We are all created with an indelible, highly personal pattern of innate giftedness and motivation. Arthur Miller calls it your Motivated Abilities Pattern or MAP, and it’s nothing that you learned. It’s something you were born with, the thing that makes you tick and determines your successes and failures.

Arthur Miller Jr. laid the foundation for the Motivation Code or MCODE with his pioneering work in SIMA.

MCODE draws on decades of cutting edge research and more than 100,000 interviews with executives, teachers, managers, artists and people from all walks of life.

  • If you feel frustrated and unmotivated by your present occupation
  • If you’ve spent months or even years wondering what to do with your life
  • If motivation is nowhere to be found when you need it the most despite rewards like money, perks and praise
  • If you can’t seem to ward off the habit of complacency

Then the motivation code will give you a new framework for understanding what motivates you and why. If you want to find out more about your MCODE then email me giselle (at) gisellehudson (dot) com I am a certified MCODE practitioner – the first and only coach in Trinidad and Tobago and the wider Caribbean.

Relationship building cannot start with a hard sell

Have you ever received a friend request on Facebook or someone wanting to connect on LinkedIn and then soon after you get a message asking you if you’re interested in a business idea or crypto currency or some other sales pitch to buy their premium offering. How does this make you feel?

Think about who you buy from. I am guessing it’s a business or someone you know, like and trust. After connecting with me I don’t yet know you, like you or TRUST you.

I always say intent is important and I don’t think the intent of people who try to sell right after connecting is bad. I do think they don’t know better. Most sales are made first with education and then over time, a sale might be eventually made.

Educate first, then sell.

If you’re going to provide an opt-in, that is, a newsletter, book, checklist or anything similar in exchange for an email address – please make sure that the freebie you provide is remarkable. It’s YOUR mark on it after all so remember that if what you provide is un-meh-morable, that’s precisely how potential customers will think of you.

Your intention should be to blow those newcomers minds and knock their socks off with your free offerings.

Rather than up cycling some old, dusty content or quickly slapping something together in a day for the sake of being able to collect email addresses, you should be crafting a work of art for these people that adds real value and transformation to their lives.

The trust factor is exceedingly important and this only happens if you nurture your relationships

  • Give an experience worth sharing
  • Prove that you can be a worthy guide
  • Demonstrate that you have their interest at heart

Success in EVERY business (company of one or many) is based on trust. 

And to win that trust, businesses must obsess over the questions, concerns, and problems their buyers have, and address them as honestly and as thoroughly as possible—just as much online as they do offline. But it doesn’t stop there. It’s a belief that buyers have changed, and sales and marketing must evolve with them. 

You have a vision, and I have a way to get you there.

When you think about marketing do you feel anxious?

I realized this morning as I was starting a seven day focused marketing program, that instead of feeling happy that I was about to learn something new that might help me improve my results, what I was filled with were thoughts of “will this even work?”

This was going to be a post about how the thought of marketing makes us feel so anxious and perhaps how we could reframe our thinking to make marketing not just more palatable but actually fun!

And then I remembered something I learned from Dr. Maria Nemeth regarding how the journey to completion of just about anything goes. Regardless of the project, this is what you will experience.

The most motivated, intelligent and talented golfer in the world would not be any good at golf if they did not know the rules of the game. The same can be said of success, believes Nemeth, which is often why our dreams are not fulfilled.

The trick is to learn how to take ideas, dreams and visions which reside in the metaphysical reality and turn them into action in the physical reality…

An undifferentiated pool of energy exists in metaphysical reality and from that we develop exciting ideas, or as Nemeth calls them, ‘possibility puffs’.

Sometimes people mistake thinking about ideas, dreams and visions for goals. But the way things operate in metaphysical reality are not the same as in practical reality. We can’t live in the metaphysical reality.

Dr. Maria nemeth

So what holds us back when we try to cross the border between metaphysical and practical?

Our ‘monkey minds’. Monkey mind, or constant chatter as it is described by Buddhists, brings all your doubts and anxieties to the fore.

You get trouble at the border because the monkey mind operates at the border and you look for things to go wrong. You need to learn to observe it otherwise you will be a creature of your monkey mind. You need to take small steps across the border.

dr. maria nemeth

To put plans in place and ultimately hit goals there are three things in the physical reality that you must be aware of, according to Nemeth:

1. Whatever you want to do takes energy, you cannot make it happen with visualisation. There are six types of energy needed to reach goals: time, money, physical vitality, creativity, enjoyment and relationships.

2. Everything is always changing so our strategy and plan may have to change. However, the intention or the goal does not change.

3. Everything is unpredictable. We know things change but we cannot predict the direction of change.

I created a short video, based on everything I learned from Dr. Nemeth, (less than 5 minutes) found here, about why you sometimes don’t always achieve your goals.

I guess the real point I’m supposed to make here is that we can never outdistance our monkey mind. We need to welcome it when it comes knowing that it’s par for the course.

I am reminding myself that I need to take small steps standing on the border of my new project – not trying to see it all – but doing what can be done every day for the next seven days. Be encouraged and remember to look at the short video here. Your journey will make more sense and although I knew of it, I needed to be reminded today!