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Posts Tagged ‘life balance’

Extra Points: Whack Job

March 20, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Last week, I attended my first-ever lacrosse game. My nephew plays on the Western Washington University team and they were playing the University of Washington at the UW. Barb and I were very happy to make the much shorter trip to the UW campus to watch Bennie play.

So here’s what I learned about lacrosse after just one game. It’s a combination of basketball, hockey, and soccer where players are armed with sticks that are used both as tool to catch and pitch a ball and as a weapon.

I watched with great interest as these young men dashed around the field in full protective gear and constantly being whacked across the chest, arms, legs, and sometimes even head. The players that were the most successful at avoiding the constant “whacks” to the torso were the fastest and most nimble ones. While never fully escaping an occasional “whack,” they were able to protect themselves better using their speed and nimbleness.

Kind of like business and life, wouldn’t you say?

We go through our days and can pretty much assure that along the way, things outside our control are ready to whack us…hard. We have goals and dreams to achieve, yet obstacles are normally in the way of those goals. That being said, these obstacles – like the defenders with sharp sticks – aren’t insurmountable. Especially if your fast and nimble!

Fast and nimble in your business, your career, and your life doesn’t translate into speed and athleticism. What it does mean is that you use your “smarts” to be decisive, bold, able to change course, influential, and resilient. It’s that ability to get whacked hard a few times, yet find a way to persevere towards your objectives. For the best and most successful at this practice, they not only are resilient but they are able to find alternate routes that get them to success and significance faster and more effectively. Your mission, should you accept, is to continually grow in speed, nimbleness, and resilience to score more goals for your team.

Do you or your company need help avoiding and thriving through the “whacks” in your business and life? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

Humility is not thinking less of yourself, it’s thinking of yourself less.”

~ C.S. Lewis

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Opportunity Knocks Daily

February 26, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Opportunity Knocks Daily

I was browsing my Linked In timeline last week and a connection of mine shared a post with the quote – “There are 365 days in a year; and 365 opportunities.” I liked that saying…I wish I’d thought of it myself!

What I do regularly remind clients is to always ask – in every situation – “What’s the opportunity?” 

The quote from Linked In goes along with my firm belief that in every situation – good, bad, and indifferent – opportunity knocks. The problem is, especially in difficult and sometimes overwhelming situations, that we don’t hear the knock through the chaotic clamor in our head! Opportunity might actually be breaking the door down, yet we are oblivious becasue our focus is on the problem rather than the solution.

In every uncomfortable situation, there is an opportunity for understanding. In every crisis, there is an opportunity for growth. In every moment you feel stuck, there is an opportunity for innovation. For every joyful and exciting moment, there is an opportunity to share the wealth.

Go into every situation (both professional and personal) armed with that little voice in your head exhorting you to uncover what opportunity lies in front of you. In that way, you” be primed to unleash your ultimate potential and those of others around you.

Do you or your company need a better process for uncovering opportunity for and profitability? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective. Email or call me to get yours…

Quote of the Week:

It is absurd to divide people into good or bad. People are either charming or tedious.”

~ Oscar Wilde

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Barking at the Wind

February 13, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40Captain Jack hates the wind. Hates it. He doesn’t cower and hide from it. He gets mad. So mad that he spends an inordinate amount of energy barking furiously at it. He can’t see the wind, but he can hear it and figures it’s his mortal enemy (along with the vacuum cleaner, hair dryer, and electronic sounds emanating from mobile phones).

His persistence in expending this energy is limitless. It ends when he has successfully vanquished the wind (in his mind – Mother Nature is the real reason). What he fails to understand is that his energy has accomplished nothing but to wear him out, create chaos, and cause great stress for him and everyone around him.

Do you ever get caught “barking at the wind?”

How many times have you ever caught yourself expending great energy at something which you don’t fully control? It might be something a competitor is doing or saying. It might be a client or partner failing to return your emails or calls. Maybe it is something you control in your business, but instead of looking for a solution, you find yourself fretting or even worse, becoming our own typhoon wreaking havoc on everything and everyone in our path.

We all can be guilty of barking at our own “wind.” Some sort of calamity or issue arises and we spend our time wasting energy that would be better used solving the problem; delegating to someone else more capable to handle it; or finding out its not really a problem at all! This negative energy not only exhausts and depresses us; it exhausts and depresses everyone else around us.

If you are the one barking at the wind, stop. Identify the cause, set counter measures to deal with it, and spend your most valuable resource – your energy – on things that will help your business, career, and family. If you’re in a leadership position and have employees that are expert in barking at the wind, then it’s your responsibility to help them stop.You will be doing them – and everyone around them – a huge favor.

Captain Jack gains nothing positive by barking at the wind. He’s proven to be less than coachable. You are. Make the commitment to invest your energy on solutions, growth, and development and you’ll find yourself barking a different – and more rewarding – tune.

Is barking at the wind an issue in your company? Give me a call and we can discuss how to change that for the better!

Quote of the Week:

“Never make someone a priority when all you are to them is an option.”

~ Maya Angelou

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Anxious or Eager?

February 6, 2017 2 comments

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Anxious or Eager?

One of my pet peeves is the improper use of the words anxious and eager. You hear them used interchangeably all the time, even in the media (who should know better). Let’s make this crystal clear – anxious indicates anxiety; eager indicates excitement.

If your anxious, you have fear, trepidation, and angst. You would say, “I’m anxious about opening that door becasue there may be zombies behind there!” You should never say, “I’m anxious to meet you in person,” because unless they are the second coming of Al Capone, you’re hopefully eager to meet them.

Proper grammar aside, these words also have a place in your mindset. If you’re anxious for the day ahead, you’re setting yourself up for failure. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. You play the day scared, fearful of “zombies” that will ruin your day. Being anxious leads to poor self-talk, mistakes made under duress, and a victim mentality where everything is someone else’s fault.

If you’re eager for the day ahead, you embrace opportunity. You’ll be resilient when challenges come up; you’ll be more innovative and creative; you’ll seek and find solutions; and you’ll be way more fun to be around. Being eager is a discipline and a state of mind. While it sounds easy to do, it’s not because life and business can often be hard.

Read that last line again…

It’s not easy, but it can be done through discipline and perseverance. If you commit to being eager – even when it’s not convenient to be – you’ll win more in business and create a remarkable life for yourself. So in the words of that great American philosopher Bobby McFerrin, “Don’t worry, be happy mon…” Or in this case, be eager.

Need help going from anxious to eager for yourself or your employees? Check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

“Death is nothing, but to live defeated and inglorious is to die daily.”

~ Napoleon Bonaparte

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Are You Out of Water?

January 23, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40This Week’s Focus Point: Are You Out of Water?

One of my jobs as the minion of two demanding Jack Russell Terriers is to keep their water dish full. While they might think it’s my “only job,” I do on occasion lose track of the depth of the water dish. Captain Jack is not afraid to tell me. He is very skilled at striking the empty bowl as hard as he can with his paw, causing a loud clang that reverberates through the house. If within a few seconds I don’t appear, the action is repeated until I respond. Captain Jack is not shy about asking for (or rather demanding) help and getting what he needs.

Business owners and other professionals should take a cue from my canine pal.

Be bold and ask for help. In my experience, many business owners and professionals choose not to ask for help for three reasons. First, they don’t think they need it. Second, they know they need it but don’t know where to get it. Third, they fear looking “weak.”

My responses: First, we all need help. Sometimes it’s advice; sometimes guidance; and other times a full blown intervention. No matter what one has achieved, there is always a need for growth. Just ask any world-class athlete if they still get coaching and help. Second, help is easier than ever to find. Referrals from colleagues and simply searching on the Internet are two fast ways to start the process. If that’s the real excuse, then the problem is probably deeper and more the last reason I mentioned. I believe that the most self-confident and successful people in any profession are boldly willing to seek and find help. Just like Captain Jack, they don’t waste time in seeking it; are persistent on their attempt; and gain tremendous value and return in investment from it. For both Jack it quenches thirst and is necessary for a healthy and happy life. Same for you…

You have a right to keep your water bowl filled. That might mean your professional skills, the growth and significance of your business, or the quality of your life. Whatever it is, I encourage you to be vigilant over the depth of your bowl by constantly keeping it filled so you never get thirsty and desperate. Captain Jack doesn’t, and neither should you.

Need help identifying where your dish is getting empty, check out my Unleashed® Balance Sheets below. They are free to download and send to me for a no obligation perspective.

Quote of the Week:

“We may encounter many defeats, but we must not be defeated.”

~ Maya Angelou

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points: Mental Toughness

January 16, 2017 Leave a comment

Dan Weedin Unleashed-40How do you define mental toughness?

I once defined it as a type of resilience; the ability to overcome adversity by using your mental capacity and smarts. While that may indeed be a component, I’ve come to a different global definition for mental toughness. Let’s see what you think…

Mental toughness is the capacity to concentrate on one thing at a time; to laser-focus on the task at hand, while drowning out all other distraction. It’s the discipline to not make things bigger than they really are (in other words, keep perspective); to not allow the past or the future to divert your attention to what’s in front of you; to simply play one play at a time.

I coached high school basketball for eight years. A common consequence of a player missing an easy layup would be that they then played poorly on defense the next play because they couldn’t eradicate the missed shot from their memory. Then on the next offensive possession, they were thinking of the missed shot; the bad play on defense; and “what will everyone think if I blow another one?” This is a terrible cycle. It’s a lack of mental toughness, and it afflicted some of the most physically tough athletes I coached.

It also plagues adults trying to run businesses and grow careers. Negative conversations can turn into bad meetings; turn into bad days; turn into bad weeks/months/years. Get my drift?

It’s not a failing to have this lack of focus enter our minds. Our brains are too complex and “stuff” comes in and out all the time. The key to mental toughness is to identify a “trigger” that will remind you to stay focused. The very best athletes, musicians, artists, sales professionals and CEOs (insert ANY career) have done it. It’s a daily discipline.

I work on it regularly. In fact, there are many times that lack of mental toughness “beats me.” If that happens to you too, then do this: Be kind to yourself. Understand you aren’t a robot and sometimes fail. Figure out the root cause of the failure and aim to identify it. Then next time when the urge to lose focus creeps in, fight back. This kind of muscle memory requires commitment, tenacity, and a positive attitude. The result of winning more frequently is becoming mentally tough. And that my friends, will catapult you to new heights in business and in life.

Quote of the Week:

“Positive anything is better than negative nothing.”

~ Elbert Hubbard

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved

Extra Points:What’s Your Punching Bag?

January 9, 2017 Leave a comment

This Week’s Focus Point: What’s Your Punching Bag?Dan Weedin Unleashed-40

I got a great birthday present last week from my wife and kids. They banded together to get me something I really wanted…a heavy (and speed) bag for my exercise room. I’d started using one in a class at the gym, but I wanted to have access to create my own routine. It’s a great core and endurance work out, and the new year was the perfect time to get going on it!

One of the advantages of working from home for me is that I can access this bag any time I need it. We all are susceptible to periods of frustration, stress, angst, anger, and sadness. It doesn’t need to be a mountain of a problem; often it’s a pebble in our shoe that while temporary, still has consequences to our comfort and peace of mind.

When in a bad mindset – that will happen to all of us – my practice is to change the brain chemicals. That means getting physical. In order to stabilize your emotions and optimize your “smarts” (e.g. mental acuity) to more successfully deal with issues, you’ve got to change the brain chemicals. For me, I can put on the gloves and go thump on the heavy bag until I’m tired. That physicality changes your brain by getting your emotions steadier, and allows you to make better decisions, improve performance, and create a better perspective.

You may not have a heavy bag to thump, but you have something. Go for a walk (even around the office). Do knee bends. Do push-ups. Heck, go on the internet and find dozens of ideas on how to increase physical movement while at work. The important thing is this – if you allow yourself to get emotionally out of sorts, it will kill your productivity, poison your self talk; and lead to poor decision-making. And worse, it will continue the cycle until you break it.

Change your mindset by changing your brain chemistry. The quickest way to do that is by (with apologies to Olivia Newton-John) getting physical.

If you’d like to discuss how I can help you and your company punch out the obstacles in your way for success and unleash your potential, then please call me at (360) 271-1592 or email me.

Quote of the Week:

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe.”

~ Muhammad Ali

punch

 

© 2017 Toro Consulting, Inc. All Rights Reserved