Monthly Archives: October 2013

The Beyonce Effect

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Hello World!

This week I had the privilege of seeing the Queen B in action. And she was amazing.

Beyonce oozes coolness. She is beautiful, on the outside, and it would seem, on the inside.  Her strong sense of self comes across in all of her lyrics and actions. Her stage presence almost dares someone to take her on. Of course no-one would because you know that is a war she would win hands down. She even announces to the audience that in ten years time we are going to remember we went to a Beyonce concert.

So how does she do it because lets face it, there are plenty of folk out there who are as talented and beautiful as her. I think the difference is that Beyonce has an awesome sense of self and and the courage to do what is right for her. She manages to be a superstar and a humble human being at the same time. She embodies a strong independent woman while being a gentle wife and mother. She knows the right boundaries to push and when to hold back. A great example of a human being who knows who she is.

It’s a similar situation when you have children growing up in terrible circumstances with limited, if any, positive role models. Some fall into whatever lifestyle is going on around them, be it drugs or crime, but others seem to rise above it all and succeed in their lives almost despite their upbringing. They too seem to have a really strong sense of self, not to mention coping skills.

It seems that as a society we get busy educating our children in a scholarly sense but we forget to help them to learn about themselves and most importantly to trust themselves. We teach them they must conform to a system, even if it goes against their being. If they don’t fit the mould they are often labeled with learning disabilities or behavioural problems and their self esteem, and therefore sense of what is right for them, plummet. Some get through and thrive but those tend to be the ones who are lucky enough to have an inherently good sense of self or a positive role model, be it someone they know or the Beyonce’s of the world.

If you doubt yourself and don’t have good resources around you, take notice of Beyonce and the like. Read about people you admire and who’s beliefs resonate with yours. Watch movies, from Rocky through to Devil Wears Prada. Lets face it, who didn’t love it when Rocky KO’d his opponent and when Andie stuck it to Miranda Priestly.

I think there is a little Beyonce in all of us, we may just need to dig a little to find it.

Til next time…

Jo

Just Do It!

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Hello World!

Oh the wisdom of the child. The uninhibited wisdom of a child. 

When you see a child playing schools, or trucks or whatever it is they are playing, they are so engrossed in what they are doing and for that time they believe they are that person. They believe they can be a doctor or teacher or ‘boss’. They have no doubts. It is only as we grow up those doubts begin to seep in. For most of us there really is no good reason why we can’t follow the path of our dreams, but we let convention and what others think is best for us to creep in. We start to think about financial consequences – usually the negative type – or if it will make us less than attractive to potential mates and friends. We wonder what will our family think. Small children don’t think like this. They just think about what they want to play and who they want to play with and do it. If there is no-one else around or they are too shy to play with someone else they make up their own games. A perfect view of the world, until the grown up world starts planting doubts in their little minds.

This blog is part of my dream to be a writer. This dream was put on hold because I let things I thought I should be doing instead get in the way. From a young child I have always wanted to write but got busy with life, family and ‘real’ jobs. I have never been able to let go of this hankering feeling that writing was what I should be doing. Over the last couple of years I began to potter with it, starting many pieces but finishing none. I never really found anything I was confident to run with and the thought of ever showing anyone my work was terrifying. I decided to enrol in a five week creative writing course and during that course we had to put our work up on a group discussion board. Very scary, but it got me to put my work out there for others to see and critique. This in turn gave me the confidence to set up the blog and put up my first post. It was a very confronting feeling to have something I wrote out there so that anyone could see, but also quite empowering. Thank you technology!

I have huge admiration for those who are able to pursue their passion without letting what they “should” be doing stop them. One in particular stands out for me. An Aussie lady Kirsty Spraggon left a successful real estate career to build up a professional speaking career, then left the country to pursue her dream of having her own talk show in the US. Her philosophy was that she could live with giving it a go and possibly losing everything more than she could live with not giving it a go. An awesome view. I try and implement that in my decision making now. I ask myself what is the worst that could happen and can I live with that more than living with not trying something. Its quite amazing the clarity this way of thinking has given me. 

I think Nike were really on to something – just do it!

Til next time…

Jo

Help, I am Being Experted!

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Hello world!

I think we are in danger of being overrun by experts.

As I society we seem to follow the trend on how to do business or live our lives according to what the latest wave of experts are saying. As part of my other life I do a lot of business networking. This often involves listening to professional speakers touting the best way to achieve success. They talk about following this process or that formula being the only way to stay ahead of your competitors. Throw out your old beliefs and systems, they say, I can work with you to take your business to the next level, they say. A common theme I am seeing is that we should not say our ‘boring’ actual job title and that we need a tag line like  “I help small business to..” or “I help people achieve…”.  Apparently as a mortgage broker I should be saying things like “I help families achieve their dreams”. What, am I giving them a butler and a bungalow over the water in Bora Bora? Oh wait, maybe that’s just my dream.

It has got me thinking, who are these people and what is their credibility to tell me how I need to run my business? What sort of experience do they have? How can they tell me what I need when they don’t really know me and how I work best? I really enjoy listening to and learning from speakers and books about business, but rather than follow their set formula I take from it the parts that fit with me. I know me and how I work best, and where I fall short. I know there are those who swear by following many of these programs to the letter, great for them but that is just not me. I would go so far as to say that even following the exact formula of Richard Branson, who is one of my business idols, would not necessarily work for me as we are not the same person.

I will stick to working out my own formulas and strategies based on who I am. They are not perfect, but are working for me – well according to my inner expert anyway. For example, I know I am very rarely an early morning person so all the grand plans of getting up early and exercising will remain just that, grand plans. So I do this later in the day and go for a walk. I know that I need variety so finding a micro-niche (another of the more recent business trends) and only working with a certain product or client type would mean I am going to be bored really quickly. Someone else might thrive on the micro-niche as it fits them, but not me. I know from experience that when I try to fit moulds that are based on someone else it usually comes unstuck .

So for now I will continue to say I am a mortgage broker. I will leave the granting of dreams and wishes to the fairies.

Til next time…

Jo

PS: Fairies, just in case you read this, I would really like a bungalow in Bora Bora…