Posts filed under ‘Aside’

Anxiety Happens, then Cast it Away

Seth Godin’s post today is about how we all feel anxiety.

Cast your anxieties away

Acknowledge your anxieties, then cast them away

“Perhaps it is due to the fact that you’re trying to control things that you can’t possibly control.

Your anxiety might merely be a sign that you care deeply about your work.

Anxiety is almost never a useful emotion to carry around. Even for magicians.

Now that you’ve been reminded that you care, it pays to let the anxiety go. Good riddance.”

Yes, easier said than done, but worth the effort of learning how.

Here’s what you do when you feel anxiety

  1. Examine what’s going on and find out if the reason is valid.
  2. If it is valid – deal with it
  3. If it’s not valid, you can let it go.

May 30, 2012 at 1:01 pm Leave a comment

To Everything There is a Time

To everything there is a season.

We gather information, processes it/think it through, and act on it.


During gather time, I read, listen to interviews, watch videos and movies and talk to everyone I meet.  This is a rich, productive discussion and sharing time.  I share what I find and my initial thoughts.

Processing time usually requires quiet time.  This is when I find myself heading off for walks, going to bed early and staring into space.  During processing time, I stop reading non-fiction, blogs, listening to interviews and I even stop watching new movies – I only want to see movies I’ve seen before.  I don’t want any new inputs.  I want what’s in my head to settle into the right order.  This is a time I treasure my dreams.  They are my subconscious working hard for me.  I don’t get aha’s so much as shifts in my thinking.


This can be a time of change, too.  These shifts can be big.  Change times bring all sorts of strange things.  Sometimes even illness.  Change means an ending of one thing to make room for another.  No matter how much we want the new thing, letting go of the old one can be traumatic.  When I made the change of thinking of myself as an owner/operator of a bookkeeping business to business owner ready to start the next, it was scary.  I have great ideas for new businesses, but letting go of who I was to make room for who I want to be, was traumatic.  By the time I got through it, I was an owner of businesses and I was comfortable with that and impatient with doing bookkeeping, because it got in the way of doing the work of owning businesses.


Then I act.


Right now I’m in the processing stage.  My first clue is that I started reading more fiction.  I have several projects on the go and they are nearing do time.  I have stepped up to be a leader, but I miss having a roadmap.  Roadmaps make the going easier.  In the real world, I’ve never been lost.  I may not always be where I want to be in a strange place, but I always know where I am.  I have been lost as a leader.  Part of my current processing is to get comfortable with that thought and be prepared to forge out anyway.  To be ready to start without knowing the route or even the exact outcome.  I can have objectives and a vision, but if I am a true leader, I need to be ready to let others step up and take the project to places I couldn’t or wouldn’t have thought about.  I’m getting there and I feel the excitement building.

I can’t wait!

March 29, 2011 at 10:33 am 2 comments

Keep Going

I watched Bourne Identity over the weekend.  One of the things that really struck me was that he didn’t stop.  Before we get going here, I recognize this is a movie and therefore may be somewhat artificial, but A) I’ve seen how this works in real life and B) I’ll take lessons from Bourne any day.

In this, the Embassy escape scene.  He keeps moving.  He gathers information, he improvises and he keeps moving.  How many times have we been in a situation where we thought, that’s it, we’re done here.   Yet, even when we think we are done, if we keep going, we find we can keep going.

He is chased to the top of the building and he escapes out an old fire escape door.  When he jumps up onto the railing to get to the roof, the railing pulls away from the wall he jumps back down.  He doesn’t stop, he begins to climb down the few remain rungs of the old escape ladder.  As the guards burst through the door he gains a foothold on the building and grabs on.  He climbs down using the brick layers.  At one point he makes it to a ledge and without so much as a breath he swings himself out over and continues to climb down.  Once on the ground, he picks up his dropped bag, brushes the snow off himself and walks quickly away.

First off, I’m not up for climbing up or down the outside of buildings, but I couldn’t help but think if I were, I’m not sure I wouldn’t have stopped a few times to rest, take stock, and think about what I were doing.

That’s the point I’m making.  We stop too much.  We would get much farther if we just kept going.

When have you experienced this? – keeping going, not climbing the outside of buildings – or maybe climbing the outside of buildings.  When should you have?

March 15, 2011 at 10:30 am 2 comments

Making Time

I thought I had a lingering cold that developed into a cough. Then it got worse. After a while, I realized I wasn’t beating it and I went to the Doctor. That’s when I found out it’s pneumonia.

Make time for health or illness will make you take the time.

The good news is I’m getting to read some books – I’m just not sure how much I’ll remember.

I’ve got lots of time to think. I’m trying not to think about all the work I’m not getting done. I am doing the most important things. This is where I see what my priorities are.

November 4, 2010 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Aside – It Doesn’t Always Work

Nobody is perfect.  Nobody has a perfect life.  There are whole minutes, hours, days weeks, months and even years that feel awful.  Do you remember the Queens Annus Horribilis?

What do you do when that happens?  Best bet?  Grieve and move on.  Which I know is much easier said than done.

Grieve.  Cry. Mourn the loss.  Let yourself feel what you gave up, what you didn’t get, what you had hoped for, what you

clown crying

photo by Mel B.

had and lost.

Then move on.  Learn from what happened.  Look for a new way.  Try something else.  Ask around.  Do some research and reading.  Find a new way and do it.

I lost a big client this month.  I’m not happy about it, but it has made me rethink where I am and what I am doing.  Next time I see them, I’m going to thank them.

April 15, 2010 at 11:01 pm Leave a comment

Aside – Books and the way they colour your day

I’m reading a novel, April Witch, by Swedish author, Majgull Axelsson.  It is a beautifully written, dark and awful story of mothers who hurt their daughters and what happens to those daughters when they grow up.

One of the worst things a mother can do is make her daughter feel unworthy and I found myself responding to the novel by having unworthy feelings.  Let me make it clear, my mother is awesome and has always told me I could do anything I wanted.

The other day I came across an opportunity I usually jump at.  My initial reaction, very deep down, was that it wasn’t for me.  It was for someone better than me.  I stopped myself almost at once.  I was surprised at how visceral that reaction was.  It immediately was clear to me, that it was a response to the novel I’m reading.  It had the same shade in my mind as the book does.

I stopped watching horror, especially, slasher films.  I’d get part way in, realize I didn’t want to watch and stop.  Only to have the film pop into my head over the next few days and that’s when I learned that my imagination is much worse than anything that could have been in the film.  Our imaginations are like that – the worst fear is the unknown.  My response was to just stop watching them.

I’ve read enough NLP and other mind books to know that the more we use neural pathways the stronger they become.  I don’t want to strengthen neural pathways that don’t help me.

Which brings me back to this book.  I’m still reading it.  It is very well written so it is hard to put down.  I am aware of my thoughts and I’m not letting myself feel unworthy.  I’m optimistic enough to hope for, at least a somewhat happy ending.  Or maybe a resolution.  I’m afraid that if I leave now, my imagination will just think of an ending anyway.

Do the novels you read colour your world?

Do you take care with the fiction you read?

Is there value in reading about bad things?

March 22, 2010 at 2:39 pm Leave a comment

Aside – Hearing the Writer’s Voice

I keep coming up with interesting thoughts (at least to me) that don’t really fit with the month’s theme, so I decided to just post them anyway and call them Asides.

I was reading Daniel Pink’s Drive when I came across a side-bar quote by Stefan Sagmeister.  As I was reading it, I could hear Stefan’s voice saying the words.  And it got me thinking.

How does it change what you are reading when you have heard the author speak?

I have an extreme example of that:

I picked up Alain de Botton’s The Architecture of Happiness.  I am a Building Technologist very interested in how the design of a space changes the way people feel and react.  And I like happiness.  I’ve even read a few books about that, too.  But when I tried to read this book, I just couldn’t get past the language; it seemed so pompous.  I took it back to the library unread.  Then I heard him speak at TEDGlobal and he came across as approachable, tongue-in-cheek even, with a very dry sense of humour.  When I read the book again after that, I could hear his voice speaking it and I loved it. Hearing his voice speak the words profoundly changed the way I experienced the book.

Do you hear an author’s voice, if you’ve heard it before, when you read a book?

The reason I noticed it this time is that I was hearing Daniel Pink’s voice until I read the Stefan Sagmeister quote.

March 18, 2010 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

The Three Success Factors

I have worked closely with 100’s of business owners and I have seen too many struggle. I have seen what works and what doesn't.

It takes 3 things to succeed:
1. Hard work - and I know you do that already.
2. Knowledge - domain knowledge: you've got that and continue to learn; and business knowledge: this is where everyone focuses and it's easy to find
3. Mindset - This is the killer app. This is what makes or breaks small business owners.

We work on Mindset here at the Business Owners Success Club: how you think about yourself and your business.

When you focus on a business that gives you what you need to live a Good Life and gives others what they need to solve a problem, everything else falls into place and you have a successful business.

Using that as a framework we work on one aspect of business every month. February is "Your Place in Your Community" month.

In March we will open the doors to our online community. Stay Tuned.

Sign up here to play along.


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