Extra Points: Climbing Ladders

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Our roof gets a lot of needles from surrounding trees and the valleys that the rain is supposed to flow down get full of gunk. The weather was nice on Saturday, so it was my duty to go up and clean them out.

I have no issues climbing up the ladder. When I was a volunteer firefighter 25 years ago, I climbed up a 100-foot ladder. I have no issues being up on the roof. It’s a great view. What I don’t love; in fact what I really hate, is climbing back down on to the ladder. There’s something about the whole balance and slippage thing that’s unnerving. I know Barb was there holding the ladder, but it wasn’t her I was worried about not doing her job. I managed to ease into the climb down and descended without incident, which led to my celebration with a cigar and whiskey.

I’ve got good balance and am in good condition. Fear made me more tentative and increased the chances of falling. If I was unabashedly confident, I would have more rapidly and efficaciously exited the roof. Likewise, fear of falling (i.e. failing) in business and in life make us all more tentative and unsuccessful if we allow it to.

You always hear athletes and entertainers proclaim that they are at their best when they are fearless; when they just let go and have fun. The same is true with important business meetings, sales calls, interviews, and networking events. The same is true in relationships with spouses, children, friends, and family. Fear is legitimate when the clear peril is falling eight feet.

Unfortunately, the fear that paralyzes humans is most often rooted in fear of what others might think or how we will be judged. And in most cases, our assumptions are wrong. We face adversity constantly. It will become a personal and professional crisis when we allow the fear to win. As my professional mentor Alan Weiss has said, “fear masks talent.” It also is the enemy of business success and living an unleashed life. So when that inner fear mongering voice tells you to be scared, throw it off the roof and boldly ascend your own ladder of success.

Quote of the Week:

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated.”

~ Confucius

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Shrimp Tank with Guest Aaron Hendon

Check out the latest episode of The Shrimp Tank with our guest, Aaron Hendon from Christine & Company. Aaron has a fascinating story and is really a fun interview. You won’t want to miss it. Watch the wrap up show here and then go listen to the entire podcast on the website. Better yet, subscribe on iTunes so you never miss an episode!

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Dog Days

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This week’s guest columnist is Captain Jack. I opted to take the holiday weekend (Super Bowl) off from writing when he asked to step in with a special message….

Dan and Barb went to a Chinese New Year party that they go to every year with friends from high school. Bella and I are never invited; which is stupid because I know there’s another dog there. This year is the Year of the Dog. It comes in a 12-year cycle and the last one was before I was born, and based on my knowledge of my own mortality, this will be my only one. With that in mind, I’ve decided it’s going to be the Year of Captain Jack!

So allow me to share with you five ways you can take part in the Year of Captain Jack to improve your life:

  1. Smell everything once. Opportunity is always there, but you have to take the time to sniff it out. If something smells rotten, kick it to the curb. Just make sure you don’t miss your chance because you’re too scared.
  2. Tell the truth. When I’m hungry, I have a certain bark; same when I need to go out. I don’t play games, I bark what I mean. Humans sometimes beat around the bush. Life’s too short.
  3. Never turn down a walk. Walk’s clear your head and offer special smells. For humans, it means exercise and clearing the decks of the stuff stuck in your head.
  4. Sleep. You’re no good working if you’re exhausted. The brain needs a chance to re-charge and re-invigorate. Dogs have known this forever. When will humans get this?
  5. Take what you want from life. Dogs don’t dwell on whatever happened last year. We don’t care what someone else might think. We sniff out opportunities and take a chance. If we fail, we go to the next one.

Look, I am only going to get one Year of the Dog in my lifetime. You humans get to use all the years. Stop wasting time and enjoy life, even in your work. If your work is fun, your life will be fun. Go chase the ball that’s thrown today, track it down, and rinse and repeat. In your world, that will lead to a lot more tail wagging.

Just me…

Captain Jack

Quote of the Week:

“Never bend your head. Always hold it high. Look the world straight in the eye.”

~ Helen Keller

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Forever Young

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This past week, I read an article written by former Washington State University quarterback Ryan Leaf for the Players Tribune. As a former rival, he may have been the most feared signal caller. After being drafted second overall by the San Diego Chargers in the 1998 NFL Draft, he admittedly flamed out and became what would be termed a “bust” in football circles.

His article was a letter to his 21-year old self. Ryan Leaf is now 40 years old, and has experienced injuries, addictions, an attempted suicide, and prison. Today, he’s living a life of sobriety and success, and chronicles his struggles in the article. What’s remarkable is that at the end, he says he wouldn’t change a thing. He says that all he went through in his life made him the person he is today. His only regret is how he treated other people. Other than that, the letter is a tough love warning of what is in store. It’s poignant, brave, and a must read. Of course, AFTER you finish reading this!

It got me thinking of what I would write to my 21-year old self 32 years later. At 21, I was just married and had the entire world in front of me. I’d tell myself that I out-kicked my coverage with my life partner; that I’d married the perfect person for me, that we’d raised two bright and beautiful daughters, that we’d scored big on a son-in-law, and would welcome in the most perfect baby ever born. I’d also tell myself that along the way, there will be many challenges to overcome, but each one will make me better, if I allowed it to. The only advice I’d give would be to enjoy the ride more; to slow down; to savor time with children and parents because it goes by so fast.

What would you write to yourself?

Be careful because if we learned anything from Back to the Future, it’s that any change, even a seemingly minor one, will alter the delicate balance of your life. I admire Mr. Leaf’s observation that there is no desire to change anything, even the painful times. What this does indicate to me however is that we have the opportunity now to chart a path for our future selves. How can we improve our lives, and the lives of those closest to us, in the future? What have we learned in our past that will alter that? Mr. Leaf suggests for himself that it’s the way he plans on treating other people. For me, it will be mindful of slowing down and appreciating the moment more. That means pulling out my old Winnie the Pooh books and reading them to my granddaughter.

What about you? How will you write your future?


Quote of the Week:

“A man who has never passed through the inferno of his passions has never overcome them.”

~ Carl Jung

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

Extra Points: Unleashing Your Good

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40You’re not good enough.

Has anyone ever said these words to you? Are you included on that list?

As humans, we have rampant thoughts go through our heads as we take in and process information from the outside. All of us will fall victim to self-doubt, whether it’s manifested from inside or outside our own heads. Social media threads are rampant with opinions, especially in politics and sports. I read plenty of mean-spirited and mostly uneducated judgements of fired and hired NFL coaches that weren’t “good enough.” In high level executive board rooms, leaders of Fortune 500 companies often succumb to the imposter syndrome where they think it’s a matter of time before they are “found out” to be not good enough. Even small and medium-sized business owners must fight negative thinking so as not to allow themselves – especially in times of crisis and challenge – to think they aren’t good enough to overcome adversity.

Last weekend, a young man on the Washington State University football team committed suicide. He was only 21 years old. Everything you read about him painted the picture of a happy, gregarious, and good teammate and friend. None of us know what thoughts and demons he may have had in his head, but at some level he believed he wasn’t good enough as a person, when it was obvious to everyone else that he was. Not all self-doubt will lead to this end, but it will ultimately lead one to not fulfilling their human potential and living a life that they desire.

Former big league pitcher and Seattle Mariner Jamie Moyer was once asked about his mindset on the mound when things were going poorly. Moyer – winner of 269 games – explained that he might have the bases loaded with one out and one run already in, and the opponent’s best hitter at the plate. He would tell himself, “all I need to do is get a hard ground ball right to the shortstop and the double play gets us out of the inning.” That’s how to unleash your self-belief!

Last week, I asked if you could handle the truth, remember? Let me leave you with this today. The truth is you are good enough. That first sale is to yourself and if you have that belief, then you, your business and career, and your life will follow suit.

Quote of the Week:

“Nobody is defeated until until he starts blaming somebody else. My advice to you is don’t fix the blame. Fix the problem.”

~ John Wooden

© 2018 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Do you need help unleashing your potential? My mentoring and coaching program has availability. Contact me at dan@danweedin.com or (360) 271-1592 to apply.

The Rabbit Hole

20 Under 40 20_3“It’s no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then.” (Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland)

As finish one calendar year and get set to embark on a brand new one, this famous quote from the classic 19th century story about a young girl who dove into a rabbit hole chasing the white rabbit should give us all pause for thought. The reasons?

We are much different today than we were in December of 2016. As much as some people loathe the thought of change, we’ve all done it whether we liked it or not. If Alice can theorize that we are different people over the course of just one single day, imagine the change over 365 days. The events (happy, sad, and everything in between) alter our perspective; people both new and established impact our thinking and challenge us; and the opportunities for growth and resilience occurred daily whether we recognized them or not and the results and consequences changed us.

This has been a year of tremendous transition for me personally and professionally. In the last year, my wife Barb has joined my practice and works side by side with me; I’ve added two new substantial partnerships that has enhanced my work and ability to serve my clients; and my granddaughter was born and that has forever altered my view of the world. To say I’m the same today would be, well…. mad.

My dog Captain Jack relentlessly seeks out rabbit holes, likely with a different purpose than Alice. He understands that somewhere in that hole is opportunity. He may not know where the path will lead him, what (or whom) he will find along the way, and what potential obstacles lay in wait, but he does know one thing; he’s moving forward to find out.

It’s time to boldly dive into our own rabbit hole. Let’s start by exploring what the quote at the beginning means for you:

Stop focusing on closed holes. Too many people allow past failures and missteps to keep them from jumping into a new rabbit hole we affectionately call “next year.” Instead of ruminating on what could have been and constantly looking back, accept the change and seek out new adventures in front of you with the same zeal that Alice had in chasing the rabbit.

Additionally, focusing on the “good old days” gets stale and stops one from trying anything new. If there’s one thing we are learning, the world may be turning at the same speed, but innovation, knowledge, and change are racing like no other time in history. You need to hang on!
Honor the struggle. You won’t go through a full year without being tested physically, mentally, spiritually, or emotionally. Each of these are tools in the journey that help us grow and achieve resilience. Instead of avoiding them, we can accept (there’s that word again) and honor them as part of what builds us into better humans.

Honoring the struggle wards off low self-esteem because it gives credence to perseverance rather than lack of worth.

Seek out new points of view. We seem to be losing the ability to hear different and new points of view without making judgments on people. We see a Mad Hatter in our way and we dismiss them without learning more.

Holding fast to our own beliefs and only keeping company with those that agree with us is a recipe for stagnation and decline. There are many different characters that are ahead in our rabbit hole; there’s an opportunity there to improve ourselves if we allow it.

Allow time for a tea party. Life balance can get most out of balance for entrepreneurs. The reasons are many, yet the control always lies with the boss. The best way to assure that this next rabbit hole is a successful dig is to make sure you’re mentally and physically able to sustain the journey.

Poor life balance leads to high levels of stress and low levels of mental and physical health. If you want your tomorrow to be better, then save some time everyday to enjoy what you have and take care of yourself.

Fear is the real Queen of Hearts. In the story, the Queen of Hearts is constantly trying to lop off someone’s head. In our stories, fear is constantly trying to sever our spirits. It’s easy to say to not allow fear to drive our decisions and actions, however in practice we are human. Fear is innately in us to keep us safe from things that will harm us, like being burned in a fire. We’ve acquiesced to this wicked queen to allow us to fear what others might think. Having a healthy balance of the “good” fear is necessary for survival. Eschewing the fear that keeps you from unleashing your potential will allow you to consume more tarts along your way.

January is the best month to plan your journey into a new rabbit hole. Who will go with you, what will you take, and most importantly, will you be accepting of whatever comes your way? There’s a lot of uncertainty and there within it lies your adventure and your journey that will change you every day along the route.

Sounds mad, doesn’t it? Good. Because we’re all mad here…

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

7 Questions Non-Profit Directors & Trustees Need to Be Able to Answer

58842029-Dan+Weedin+Unleashed-43 copyAre you a non or for profit board member or trustee? If so, you’ve got tremendous liability for property, people, and growth. Here are 7 questions for Board of Directors or Trustees for any organization:

1. What’s the plan if we have an active shooter at our location or event?

2. What’s the plan if we suffer a cyber attack and personal information of people is compromised or important information lost or stolen?

3. What’s the plan in the event of a sexual harassment or discrimination lawsuit?

4. What’s the plan to evacuate and protect people and property if our building is on fire?

5. What’s the plan if we have a natural disaster that blocks transportation and halts communication?

6. Are we doing everything possible to safeguard our employees, volunteers, and those we serve?

7. Am I willing to accept the liability and financial consequences of not being fully compliant and prepared for a crisis?

I have a longer list of questions that revolve around your fiduciary and leadership responsibility as a broad member for either a non-profit or for-profit board of directors. By completing this exercise, you will learn how your organization grades out.

It doesn’t matter the size of your organization, any one calamity like those listed above can destroy a non-profit and damage your reputation. As you begin strategizing an planning 2018, are you sure that your organization is fully ready and prepared to deal with a crisis?

If you have any doubts or concerns, let’s schedule a time to talk.

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved