Wednesday, October 31, 2012

World Food Programme - Hunger is a Solvable Problem

I recently became part of the the Global Team of 200, an offshoot of  Mom Bloggers for Social Good.  The motto  of  the  Global Team of  200  is Individually we are all powerful. Together we can change the world. We believe in the power of collective action to help others and believe in ourselves to make this world a better place for our children and the world’s children.  This month one of the products we are collectively working  to bring attention to is the World Food Programme’s  (WFP) action in Bolivia.  In Bolivia , the WFP is providing healthy nutritious meals to school children.

The  incredible thing and the reason why you should care and do whatever you can to support  the WFP’s program in Bolivia is that the school meal program does more than simply give children food, it gives them hope.  Hunger is real and serious problem found around the world.  In Bolivia hunger is a special problem that endangers children and families.  Children who come to school hungry  are not able to concentrate and it is difficult for them to learn.  By providing meal to school children, the WFPis helping create a better world for the children of  Bolivia.

Eulalia the little girl on the left hope to have a home of her own with  trees and a garden. Because she starts each day with a    good nutritious breakfast, she is able to think and dream of the future.

This teacher has stated that since the his students are given a nutritious breakfast too start each day, they are able to focus on their mathematics lessons.  This means the students are actually learning at school instead of merely sitting and dreaming of food that may not be coming.
The  World Food Programme has been working to stamp out hunger  around the world and this recent campaign in Bolivia is am extension of its good work. According to the WFP, hunger is “the world’s  greatest solvable problems.”  It is my hope and the hope of all the  members of The Global Team of 200 that you  read this post and those of  other team members  and become  encouraged to do something to help feed the children of Bolivia and to help solve the problem of hunger around the world.  It is not hard. Do you know how to provide a meal to four children for only one dollar? The World Food Programme does.
I encourage everyone who reads this article and looks at the faces of these school children from Bolivia to do something to get involved.  Contribute money to theWorld Food Programme,  share this article and those of all The Global Team of 200 members, talk about this, make the issue know. Hunger is a problem that can be solved.  Working together we can solve it, so please get involved  today.

Originally posted at Janeane's World, www.janeanesworld.com

Wonderful Wednesday - Start the Day Planning for Success

Wonderful Wednesday - it is wonderful to start the day with a plan for success.

Each Wonderful Wednesday throughout the month of October has been dedicated to ways to start the day in order to get the results you want. The articles have talked about starting the day with prayera good attitudepositive affirmation  and by looking towards the evening. Today, the final article in the series will deal with starting the day with a plan to be happy.

photo credit: Leonard John Matthews via photopin cc

Almost everyone has heard the old expression, "If you fail to plan, you plan to fail." It got to be an old expression because it is true. If there is a certain outcome that you desire, plan and take the steps to make it happen. If you fail to come up with that plan, if you leave things to chance and happenstance, you have not prepared for success. Recently, I attended the PowerUp Weekend conference. It was an amazing conference designed to help all women become more powerful. It was incredible because all women were respected, from the CEOs of major organizations to stay at home mothers. Each woman was told she was valuable and deserving of respect and powerful in her own right.  There were a number of amazing workshops all of which had as a main theme, plan your life then work your plan.

I will sum up the conference sessions I attended for those of you not fortunate enough to attend:

1.     The conference organizer Uneeka Jay talked about the need to plan for the moment before the click of your coffin lid and plan how you want your life to unfold, what you want to accomplish and what you want to be the memory you leave behind.

2.     J. J. DiGerinimo talked about how you are obligated not to leave your life to chance, but instead must plan with whom and where you will spend your time.

3.     Monica Barnett, an amazing woman of style talked about planning your wardrobe because how you look determines what people will think of you before you even open your mouth.

4.     Stacey Ferguson talked about blogging and how you need to plan your blog to meet the need you wish it to fill. Helen Jonsen talked about personal branding and how it is important to  have your elevator pitch, focused, touching and ready to deliver to your target with no hesitation.

5.     Cheryl Pullins talked about the balance myth and how it is important to plan your life, to decide to do the right things with your time so that you can be in balance.

6.     Dr. Nicole Cutts taught us about vison boards and how planning what your life if and speaking as if it is now is the first step toward accomplishing your goals.

7.     Jim Smith, the final speaker for the day talked about planning what you are going to do about things and taking action now because there is no need to wait.

As this summary shows, the common theme throughout the day was that you must plan your life in order to get the outcome you want. If you want to have a particular outcome, plan for it then take the steps necessary to make the plan happen. If you want a promotion at work, plan for it, then take the action called for in your plan. If you want to get all your household chores done, make plan, write a list, then get busy working that plan. No matter what you want to accomplish in life, it all starts with a plan. Jesse Jackson once said, "If my mind can conceive it and my heart can believe it, then I can achieve it." That saying holds true for you. Start your day with a plan. It does not have to be a plan to achieve world domination by dinner time. It could be as simple as getting through the work day, the kids activities, dinner and personal time with your spouse. All of those things don't just happen, you have to plan, schedule and prepare. Start the day with a plan to get done what you want then spend the day working the plan.

There are a great number of tools to help you plan. Two popular tools right now are mind maps and vision boards. I personally use both these tools in to help me plan action at home an din my business. I shall be starting vision boarding for my business clients to help them get from where they are to where they want to be. You are powerful because you have the ability to think and to plan. So sit down now with some great tools and plan something, anything and then take the steps to make the thing you plan happen.

Remember, it is up to you to plan how you will spend your day, your time and your resources. So, the question for you this wonderful Wednesday is what is your plan for your day, your year, your life?

Monday, October 29, 2012

Magnificent Monday- Don't Sweat a Major Purchase

Magnificent Monday - it is magnificent to not to sweat a major purchase.
Each Monday throughout the month of October, will be dealing with the topic - "Never let them see you sweat." We have already dealt with industry conferences,  job interviewsparent teacher conferences and a doctor's visit. The no sweat topic for today is making a major purchase.

photo credit: Martin LaBar via photopin cc

The making of a major purchase is a nerve wracking event for most people. Those of you who have been following the Magnificent Monday No Sweat posts will know what I am going to say is a major way to make a no sweat major purchase. The secret is research. It doesn't matter if the major purchase is a home mortgage, a car or a major appliance. Doing research in advance is gives you information, power and control.
If you are looking for a home mortgage research banks and mortgage brokers in your area. Check out the appraisers and title companies that may be involved with your transaction. Look at the newspapers for reports of the interest rates you may be paying. When buying a car, research the make and model you will be buying. Find out the prices for the model you want and comparable models at a variety of dealerships. When purchasing a major appliance check out Consumer Reports for the models best suited to meet your needs. Contact the various sellers in your area to find out the prices for your desired item.

By doing research on prices, options and availability for the major item you wish to purchase you  are more able to deal on equal footing with the seller.  Information is powerful because when you possess it you can judge the validity of statements made to you by the seller based on facts in your possession rather than on a gut feeling about the seller's honesty. A major purchase can be a no sweat mission if you research in advance. So, the question for you this magnificent Monday is, do you have any major purchases coming up you need to research?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Serene Sunday - When to Encourage

Serene Sunday - you can find serenity by knowing when to encourage.

Throughout the month of October, Serene Sundays have been devoted to encouragement. The articles have dealt with why you should encouragewho to encourage and how to encourage. This, the last of the Serene Sunday encouragement series, will deal with when to encourage.

photo credit: jeffreyw via photopin cc
As I have stated in the previous articles on encouragement, most forms of encouragement are free. So there is no reason not to spread it lavishly. I am a bread and butter girl. It is a huge indulgence and even though I am trying to lose weight and get into better shape, I have not kicked the bread and butter habit. I like a piece of warm bread covered with soft, creamy, sweet butter. That is how I think of encouragement, as something you spread so that it covers the subject with its warm, soft deliciousness.
Here is a list of when it is proper to encourage people:
1.     all day
2.     every day
I think that you will find my short list to be quite inclusive.
Encourage your children to have a good day of learning at school. Encourage your spouse to have a good day at work making the money. Encourage your friends to have a good shopping trip and not to forget to pick up the eggs. Encourage your office mates to meet deadlines and go for promotions. Encourage your social media contacts to go for the next opportunity, to start that new series. Encourage your friend to write that novel she has been threatening to write for the past two years.  Encourage an old classmate to go get the Ph.D., she knows she wants to earn. Encourage everyone, all day, every day.
I believe this with all my heart. I try to encourage people. When my teenie bopper was three, she said she wanted to build a time machine. I believed she could do it and encouraged her. When my husband shut down one business enterprise and started another, I told him that I believed in him and that he could do it with his hands behind his back and his calculator in his briefcase. When my son asks me if I think he will beat the levels on one of those crazy video games he plays, I tell him. Of course, he will figure it out and that I believe in him. When the big twin asked me, "Mommy do you think I will do good in kindergarten?" I told her of course she would. She responded that since I believed in her, she knew she could do it. One of the funniest and cutest things you will ever see is my youngest twin, the author of the blog The Famous Camille, when she says, "I am Camille Davis. I am small but I am mighty. I am a Davis woman, I can do anything." I asked her why she thought that and she said, "Mommy, you gave me wings, now I can fly." I have encouraged heart into her. It is one of my greatest joys as a mother. Encourage everyone, all day, every day.
Little kids learning to walk need encouragement. Senior citizens facing retirement and moving from their homes to retirement centers need encouragement. All the people between those groups can benefit from encouragement as well. No one is too young to receive encouragement. No one is to old to benefit from encouragement.  Encourage all day, everyday.

It is important to provide encouragement at the start of an adventure. The encouragement you provide someone at the start of something may provide them with the fuel they need to get to the next leg of the race. Encouragement is also needed in the middle of an adventure. Sometimes in the middle of an adventure people get tired and think about quitting. The encouragement you provide at this point, may help them make it to the end. At the end of the adventure, encouragement is needed to help the person enjoy reaching the finish line and have the stamina to prepare for what is ahead. Encourage all day, everyday.
Encouragement is not fattening, so do it early and often. So, the question for you this Serene Sunday is when do you think encouragement should be given?

First published 10/28/12 at www.janeanesworld.com

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Sensational Saturday - Go to Starbucks - Save Your Marriage

Sensational Saturday – it is sensational to escape your family at Starbucks.
Each Sensational Saturday throughout the month of October has been dedicated to sharing some of the best marital advice I have gotten from friends. I have been happily married for 22 years and I have to admit that it is in part due to advice I got from some people who were close to me.  I have already shared advice I received dealing with  giving my  spouse something real at homenever going to bed angry and beating him to the car door. Today, the final article in the marital advice series deals with advice I got from my husband to go to Starbucks.

photo credit: tripu via photopin cc

Over the course of the past 20 odd years, I have had numerous people give me advice on how to make marriage work. Some of the advice has been from people who made it work themselves. When those people give me advice, I listen. I may not always take the advice, but it is nice to hear from someone who is doing a thing right tell you how to make it work in your life. In addition, I get  an incredible amount of marital advice  from people who never made a marriage work themselves. I always find that advice particularly interesting. I listen because they may have something to teach me, but to be honest, I am suspect of their advice.

One of my favorite pieces of advice I got on how to keep marriage working came from my husband. His advice, "Get out of the house and go to Starbucks."  I was having a particularly hard day and the children and my husband were getting on my nerves by just breathing. I needed a break. Darren said to me, "Get out, go to Starbucks and don't come back for at least three hours." I took his advice, I walked the three and one half blocks from my house to Starbucks. I took my computer and some money and stayed away for three hours.

While at Starbucks, I surfed the internet, drank a cup of  coffee and enjoyed my own company.  Since that day, I have made going to Starbucks for two hours each week  a regular weekly routine. I go and get a plain cup of coffee for $1.75 including tax and unlimited refills. It is not a lot of money, so there is no sacrifice to my family. The time spent at Starbucks is like recharging a battery. When I arrive back home, I am always calm and enjoy being back with my family. This is not to say something trite like "absence makes the heart grow fonder." After all, my heart if quite fond enough. In my case, absence makes my heart grow calmer and more relaxed.

The time away relaxing and not having to deal with the family spats, homework and chores for a few hours helps me to come home ready to be a better wife and mother. Perhaps the true beauty of Darren's advice is that a little mini - vacation, even at the local Starbucks can make one feel refreshed and invigorated.  When I come home and I see that Darren has fed the children, the chores are done and the children are ready for bed, I am filled with love and appreciation. I come home grateful for the break and as a result ready to be a better wife to my husband.

As the Sensational Saturday series, "Best Marital Advice"series has shown, great marital advice can come from a variety of sources. I have gotten great advice from my grandmother -in-law to be, a counselor, a friend and even my husband. So, the question for you this Sensational Saturday is where is the most surprising place from which good marital advice has come?

Sensational Saturday – Blogspot to WordPress – This Girl Did it Herself

Sensational Saturday - it is sensational to be able to do things for yourself.

Those of you who read this blog on a regular basis, (I appreciate each and every one of you) have noticed some changes to the way this blog looks. The look changed because this week I switched moved my blog from Google's Blogspot platform to a self hosted Wordpress.org blog. I have resisted this change for quite a long time, but finally after speaking with a few people at the recent PowerUp Weekend in Washington, D.C. I put on my big girl panties and made the switch.

Many of the people I spoke with told me I should pay a website designer and get the move done. However, this is Janeane's World so I figured Janeane should do the moving, so off I went. Everything I did was free. I am sharing the process I went through with you because, if I can do it, you can do it and here is how. 1. I already owned my domain name, www.janeanesworld.com and it was linked to my Blogspot blog. I had purchased the domain name from GoDaddy.com and like their customer service department a great deal. 2. I was in the habit of copying my blog articles from Blogspot to a Wordpress.com account everyday, so I had a full copy of my entire blog on the Wordpress.com site already.

3. I called the customer service department at GoDaddy and told them I already had a domain name and wanted them to host my blog and attach my domain name to my new Wordpress.org blog.

4. GoDaddy sent me a series of email, with instructions on how to proceed. The customer service people told me it could take several hours to be ready to start the process, but it took less than one hour. The emails came almost at the same time. The first email was my hosting credentials, information I would need to provide Wordpress to set up the self hosted blog account. The next email was a link to the FAQ page from Wordpress.org which I found quite helpful. I am attaching a copy of the link here for your ease of use. WordPress Hosting FAQ Next GoDaddy sent me an email telling me it was time to build my website along with another helpful email. help guide. Keep in mind, a blog is just a type of website

5. I went to the Wordpress.org site and downloaded WordPress 3.4.2 and GoDaddy sent me an email telling me the program was downloaded and it was time for my personal touch.

. 6. Next pick out one of the more than eight hundred themes for your blog design. My Blogspot blog header was designed for me by Brandi Jeter of Mama Knows It All and it is a beautiful peace of art. With a little trial and error, I was able to add my personal header to the template of my choosing.

 6. I learned that most of the good stuff on Wordpress.org comes from something called Plugins which are programs that do all kinds of cool stuff. I will talk more about them later. The first plug in I installed was the Blogger Importer Plugin. This plugin was really cool because it imported all my blogger blog posts including comments!

 7. I then copied my buttons etc from my Blogspot blog to my new Wordpress.org blog by using the text box. It was not intuitive, but every time I had a question, I got answers relatively easily.

 8. Here are some of the plugins I got and found useful: All in One SEO pack, to help my blog be recognized by the major search engines EP Social widget - to add those neat social media sharing buttons at the end of each post Jet-Pak for Wordpress to allow me to use some great features and connect with my free Wordpress.com blog site Linkwithin - to put links to random previous blog posts after each new post Network Publisher - so that when I publish my blog on Wordpress.org it automatically posts to several other networks including Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Tumblr and a host of others.

9. The last thing I added was the Google Analytics plug so that I can keep track of relevant statistics with my blog.

 All in all, it was a fun and rewarding experience and I am glad I was able to do it myself. I successfully made the switch, own my content and can advertise or do whatever I want. I highly suggest you set aside a day or two and try the process for yourself. If you get stuck, send me an email or leave a voice mail message on this blog. You can move your blog from Blogspot to Wordpress.org if you take your time and go step by step. So the question for you this Sensational Saturday is what challenge are you ready to face and conquer?

Friday, October 26, 2012

Terrific Tuesday – Raising the Bar on Discipline

Terrific Tuesday it is terrific to raise the bar on discipline at home ... http://p.ost.im/p/dkDnvE

Thrilling Thursday – Life after Public Embarrassment

Thrilling Thursday it is thrilling to know that good things are still ... http://p.ost.im/p/dkCDUx

Wonderful Wednesday – Start the Day with the Evening in Mind

Wonderful Wednesday it is wonderful to start the day with the evening ... http://p.ost.im/p/dkQqQd

Magnificent Monday Don’t Sweat a Doctor’s Visit

Magnificent Monday it is magnificent to not to sweat a doctors visit. ... http://p.ost.im/p/dkUAAq

Wonderful Wednesday – Start with the Evening in Mind

Wonderful Wednesday it is wonderful to start the day with the evening ... http://p.ost.im/p/dk9KYB

Fantastic Friday – Faking Confidence With Professional Peers

Fantastic Friday it is fantastic to be able to fake confidence in fron ... http://p.ost.im/p/dkbwT8

Fantastic Friday - Faking Confidence With Professional Peers

Fantastic Friday - it is fantastic to be able to fake confidence in front of your professional peers. Each Fantastic Friday throughout the month of October has been dedicated to faking confidence in a variety of situations. Previous Fantastic Fridays have looked at faking confidence when speaking in public, at a networking event and in front of clients. Today, the final Fantastic Friday for October is about faking confidence with your professional peers.
photo credit: SweetOnVeg via photopin cc Many professionals have a bit of a competitive streak as well as a desire to impress others. This fact is what makes people work long hours, take on extra assignments and refuse to take vacations in order to meet deadlines. Competition when healthy, is a good thing for business and for professional advancement. The desire to please makes professionals work hard and smart in order to get positive attention from supervisors and peers. The competitive nature and desire to please are strong motivators, but they do not necessarily equate with confidence. Often, a lack of confidence causes a professional to compete in unhealthy ways or to sabotage the efforts of others. Almost no professional wants her peers to think she lacks confidence or to think that she is not as good as her peers. When a professional does not have sufficient confidence, she needs some mechanisms to help her behave properly, to compete in a healthy manner and maintain her dignity. If you are a professional in a competitive atmosphere, you must be able to show appropriate confidence and ability when interacting with your peers. Those of you who have been following the Fantastic Friday series throughout October already know two keys for helping anyone fake confidence: 1. Get dressed in your big girl panties and fake it until you make it dress 2. Research and preparation Professionals are often predatory people who can sense the weak and prey upon them. So, if you are looking for ways to fake confidence in front of your professional peers, literallly, stick your head up, pull your shoulders back and stand erect. Smile, walk with swagger and put on the physical appearance of a confident person. Our bodies give messages, are a language. If you start off looking confident, you can hide the fact that you don't feel it yet. So, instead of walking in sheep's clothing, stand up straight, and tall, be the wolf. Next keep up to date with information. Research and continually educate yourself about your industry, your company and your job title. It is important to continually educate yourself whether formally or informally. Research and preparation provide knowledge. Everyone has heard the old saying, "Knowledge is power." The saying got to be an old one for a reason, it is true. Knowledge enables us to understand, to make decisions and to be able to put together pieces of complex puzzles. Research, preparation and knowledge give you the tools to fake confidence in front of your peers.
When you have are properly dressed to fake confidence (big girl panties and fake it until you make it dress) and have researched you industry, your job and related matters you have the tools you need to fake confidence. There is an interesting fact I would like people reading this article to keep in mind. That fact is the tools I have given here for faking confidence will help you until the real thing comes. It is inevitable that if you are dressed with the outward appearance of confidence and have researched and prepared for the tasks ahead of you, real confidence will come. It is like the saying from the movie "If you build it they will come." When it comes to confidence, if you dress for it, if you research and prepare for it, it will come, even with your peers. So the question for you this Fantastic Friday, is what is your secret when you need to fake confidence in front of your peers? Originally posted 10/26/12 at http://www.janeanesworld.com

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Thrilling Thursday – it is thrilling to know that good things are still possible after public humiliation. Each Thrilling Thursday throughout the month of October has been devoted to helping people survive and thrive after a major professional misfortune. The past three Thrilling Thursday articles have dealt with what to do after a business fails, what is possible after a raise is denied and how to survive a demotion. This final Thrilling Thursday of October will deal with what is possible after public embarrassment.
In the workplace, as in the world at large, reputation matters. It is important to do whatever is possible to maintain a reputation that is above reproach. Reputation will get you meetings your social connections cannot make. In many instances, a sterling reputation will get you opportunities for business that you otherwise do not qualify to obtain. Your reputation is more valuable than gold and should be treated as such. At the same time, it is a fact that sometimes things happen that cause public embarrassment and humiliation, a ding is placed in your reputation’s armor. As with so many things in life, preparation is the key to surviving public embarrassment. If you have lived your life and in such a way that you have created a good reputation for yourself, when you suffer a public embarrassment, you will be able to honestly spin it as an aberration, a thing out of the ordinary, rather than a true picture. Think about it. Almost everyone has heard the expression, “You never get a second chance to make a first impression.” While this is true, if you have created and maintained a good reputation for yourself, you have created a good first impression to the world and if something embarrassing happens later, you will be able to make a satisfactory argument that the public embarrassment is a thing that out of character, different from your reputation, a thing that can be ignored. No matter what the public embarrassment, ranging from ripped pantyhose and spinach in your teeth to a sexual scandal or murder charge, you can survive pubic embarrassment. As stated above, survival starts with creating and maintaining a good reputation for yourself. Survival continues with the appropriate wardrobe. When you have been publicly embarrassed, it is time to put on your big girl panties and your fake it until you make it dress and stick your head up in the air.
You survive public embarrassment by moving on, not dwelling in the awful thing that happened, but instead by moving on to the next thing. At this point you keep doing the things you did to cultivate a good reputation and move on past the embarrassing situation. You have the tools, you have the skills, you can survive public embarrassment by depending upon the same skills you have been using all your life. So, the question for you this Thrilling Thursday is what are your tips for surviving public embarrassment?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Wonderful Wednesday - Start the Day with the Evening in Mind

Wonderful Wednesday – it is wonderful to start the day with the evening in mind. Each Wonderful Wednesday throughout the month of October the articles here will focus on starting the day in a way to make success more likely. In previous weeks, this space has been devoted to starting the day with prayer , starting the day with a good attitude and starting with positive affirmation. I have always been a big believer in looking at the big picture and thinking long range. When you know what is coming down the road, you are better able to prepare. It is similar to checking the weather report each morning. Most people look or listen to the local weather report before going out to work each day. When you know what the weather will be like after work, you know if you should bring an umbrella, sunglasses or snow boots. The same idea applies to how you should start each day. You must start the day with the end of the day in mind in order to have a successful day.
There are some things you want to accomplish each day. There are tasks that you want to complete so that when the day ends and you lay down to sleep, you feel accomplished and satisfied. You must start each day with those things in mind. If you have a business dinner at 5:00 pm and a function at your children’s school at 8::00 pm it would not be a good idea to plan a shopping trip at 7:00 pm. Start the day thinking about how you want to end the day, what you want to have accomplished. There is a famous book by Steven J. Covey called, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People one of the habits was,begin with the end in mind. The idea was that if you started something knowing where you want to end up, you are more likely to get there. We must start the day with the evening in mind, because like it or not, want it or not, the evening is coming. So the question for you this Wonderful Wednesday is what is your secret for starting a day that ends great?

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Terrific Tuesday - Raising the Bar on Discipline

Terrific Tuesday - it is terrific to raise the bar on discipline at home and at work.

Each Terrific Tuesday throughout the month of October, this blog will explore the idea of raising the bar, of getting better at something.  Previously this month, this space has been used to look at raising the bar as an entrepreneurraising the bar with continuing education and raising the bar in relationships at home and work. Next week, the final Terrific Tuesday article in October will be on raising the bar with performance at work.  This week is all about raising the bar on discipline at home and work.

photo credit: crypto via photopin cc

Recently I had a coaching session with personal coach, ChaChana Simpson of Your Stellar Star. It was indeed an enlightening experience. I spoke with her for an hour long session and we talked about what I wanted from my life at home and work as well as what was keeping me from getting what I wanted. To sum up the hour in one quick sound bite, the answer was discipline. I needed to raise the bar on discipline.

As anyone who reads this blog quickly discovers, I am a wife and mother of four children. All four of my children have been assigned household chores commensurate with their age and ability. However, I had a habit of letting them get away with not doing the chores and then getting angry at the end of the night when the chores were not done and I had to do them myself before going to bed. Similarly, at work, I had a client that called at ridiculous hours, made unfair demands and as a final straw, refused to pay a small invoice I sent.

All these things are issues of discipline. It was not my children or my ridiculous client that needed discipline, but me, the real issues was with me. The party that needed to step up and use appropriate discipline was me. My children were getting away with not doing their chores and I was suffering because as a result.  I had a choice to make. I could either start using discipline at home, or I could continue doing the chores for my children. By the way, discipline is good for children and helps them become adults with a sense of pride and responsibility.

With my unreasonable client, after receiving yet another crazy email I had a choice to either tell off the client as was so richly deserved or show discipline and talk to the client without losing the business. The client's ridiculous email was full of lies, fantasy and an airbrushing of history to use President Obama's recent debate line. I was forced to get disciplined and send a response detailing how unreasonable the client was and how much I did not appreciate the way the client was acting. It took discipline to send out the response. It took discipline to respond to ridiculous personal attacks with a cold hard recitation of facts instead of returning the personal attacks. But I put on the big girl panties and exercised discipline.

Recently I attended the PowerUp Weekend in Washington, D. C.. It was an amazing day of talking, networking and learning from Powerful women in a variety of walks of life. One of the big take aways from the day was, " Life is about you making choices, no matter what happens, it is about your choice."  In my world, at this time it is my choice to raise the bar on discipline at home and at work. Keep in mind the fact that discipline at home and work will make your life better, more organized and improve the quality of your life at home and at work. Appropriate discipline is a gift for your family and your workplace. Almost everyone loves to receive gifts, so give the gift of discipline.

It is important for you to realize that choosing to raise the bar with discipline, instantly improves your outlook on life. Being disciplined, doing the right thing when you know you should, without excuse and without failure is discipline and it makes your world a better place.  So he question for you this Terrific Tuesday is, how are you going to raise the bar on discipline?

Monday, October 22, 2012

Magnificent Monday Don't Sweat a Doctor's Visit

Magnificent Monday - it is magnificent to not to sweat a doctor's visit.

Each Monday throughout the month of October, will be dealing with the topic - "Never let them see you sweat." We have already dealt with industry conferencesjob interviews, and parent teacher conferences.
 The no sweat topic for today is handling a doctor's visit.

photo credit: Road Fun via photopin cc

Once again, research is the key to a no sweat encounter. Whether you are going to the doctor's office for an emergency matter or a routine check up, you should research and prepare for the visit.  When dealing with a medical professional, you should keep in mind the doctor's reason for meeting with you in the office is to address your health and your concerns. Any questions or comments you have are relevant and it is the doctor's responsibility and job to address them with you. This is your time with the doctor, do not allow the doctor to rush off or leave without being satisfied that all your questions and concerns have been addressed.

Bring a pen and paper with you. If you are a technology person like myself, bring your Kindle Fire.  When I prepare for a doctor's visit for myself, my husband or my children, I do the same preparation. I use my Kindle Fire and type in a note and leave space for additional information obtained at the doctor's office.  I type in the date and time of the visit along with the doctor's name and the reason for the visit. Next I fill in all the information I want to give the doctor. This includes symptoms, problems, good points and a list of facts I want the doctor to know. After that, I fill in the list of questions I want the doctor to answer. This includes questions about my problem and any research I have done that I would like to discuss with the doctor.

I have used the same pediatrician, Dr. Judith Turow at Lankenau Hospital in Wynnewood, Pennsylvania for 16 years. When she left Thomas Jefferson Hospital in Philadelphia for Wynnewood, we followed her. If she transfers to ABC Hospital in East Jablip, we will follow her there. Dr. Turow always listens to our description of the situation and any relevant information we want to share. She always answers all our questions from any source. We always leave her office feeling satisfied.  In another post I will detail specific examples of all the wonderful things she has done for my children. The point here is that the doctor is at work to help you, do your part to make it possible for the doctor to help you.

Research and preparation may help you to survive a visit to the doctor's office without sweat. So, the question for you this Magnificent Monday is, how do you prepare for doctor's visits?

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Serene Sunday - How to Encourage Others

Serene Sunday - you can find serenity in learning how to encourage another person.

Throughout the month of October, I have been devoting the Serene Sundays to encouragement. The previous posts have dealt with why you should encourage and who you should encourage. This week's article is about how to encourage. Next week, the final article in the series will deal with when to encourage. 

YES!Encouragement can be either written or oral in format. In other words you can say your words of encouragement in person or by telephone call. Or, you can send your words of encouragement in a letter, an email or through a social media format. Rest assured that all these methods are equally valid and if the encouragement is sincere.

You can use your words to encourage. The following are a few situations that come up often  when encouragement is needed.

1.     Best case worst case
Whenever I encounter a friend who is feeling scared or nervous about something, I take her through the best case worst case scenario. I ask her, what is the best thing that could happen if her situation worked out in her favor. I then ask her what is the worst case scenario. Once she has identified the best and worse that can happen to her, she has faced her fears and is ready to admit that since she can handle both the best case and worse case scenarios is ready to go for it, encouragement accomplished.

2.   The Suck it Up Sandwich
Sometimes, a gentle, persuasive whisper is not sufficient because the person needing encouragement is hard headed or refuses to listen to soft talk. Those situations call for a hard talking to and a wardrobe change. If you have a person who refuses to succumb to your gentle encouraging words, it is time to tell her to "suck it up, put on her big girl panties, her fake it until you make it dress and get moving." In other words, encourage by being forceful. Tell your friend that she can do this, you don't wan to hear her words to the contrary and that she had better get going now.

3.   Cheerleader
On occasion, encouraging someone means being a cheerleader.  When your friend encounters a hard situation or is a little down in the dumps all she needs is someone to cheer for her. In that situation, just tell your friend, that she can do it. Tell her specifically, "Girl, you can do this. You have done harder things. You are amazing, you are wonderful, you can do this." Let her know that you admire her that she is brave, strong, smart, wonderful and that she has this.

4.   Yeah, life sucks but. . . 
There are times when everything has gone wrong and your friend wants to give up all hope. At those times, she needs you to prop her back up and find a reason to keep going. So you have to tell her, "You know what, sometimes life sucks, things go horribly wrong, but you still have to keep moving." Let your friend know that you understand she feels horrible. Tell her that anyone would feel like dirt under the circumstances. At the same time, let her know that even though life sucks right now, it did not always suck and it will not always suck in the future. This is another situation for a wardrobe change,  tell her to "suck it up, put on her big girl panties, her fake it until you make it dress and get moving." She has to put on her happy face and act like things are going well until they start going well again.

5.   We are in it together 
Once in awhile your friend feels as if she is all alone and that no one has her back. At those times,  she needs to know that she is not in it alone, you have her back. The easiest way to let her know she is not in it alone and that you with her is to specifically tell her, "I've got you. You are not in this alone. Be encouraged, we can get through this."

In all these situations, your friend who is in need of encouragement knows that she needs encouragement. She knows that you are there to encourage her.  So, do your job, be what she needs you to be.

Surprise flower deliveries can be used to encourage.

A few months ago I was unhappy with how business was going with a partner. I was ready to call it a day and leave the relationship altogether. I was extremely unhappy.  I had actually cried and yelled and stopped just short of calling names. A few days later, I opened my front door and saw a big brown box. When I opened it, it was a beautiful delivery of flowers in a spectacular vase. My business associate/friend had the flowers sent to me with a note to encourage me, to cheer me up and to get me to continue in the business relationship. It worked.

Greeting cards can be used to encourage.

Everyone likes to receive a card in the mail. It doesn't matter if it is a silly card or a deep, meaningful card that makes the recipient cry tears of joy. I keep a few encouraging cards in my purse most of the time so that I can send off a message on the spot if need be.

Music can also be used to encourage.

You have heard the expression, "Music has power to soothe the savage breast." Well, music can also be used to encourage, to pump someone up and get them back into the swing of things. Here are a few of the songs on my personal playlist to put steel in my back and  make me feel like I can do it.

Struggle     by Tye Tribbett & G.A.

A God Like You   by Kirk Franklin

Believer     by Mary Mary

Just the Way You Are     by Bruno Mars

Work That    Mary J. Blige

Hard Streets    T-Bone

You have to know your audience in order to pick just the right music. I like gospel music and find most of my motivation there. If your friend is a country music fanatic or a rocker, get music for her there. You can send your friend the song via email, a Facebook status update. One of my new favorite tricks is to leave a voice mail when I know my friend will not answer her phone. I tell her, "I am leaving this message to encourage you" and I let the song play into her voice mail.

I have one last tip on how to encourage if the person needing encouragement is you. This is one I got from my teenie bopper. She said that you should set your ring tone and alarm tone on your phone to a song that encourages you that way with every phone call or alarm that goes off, you get a boost of encouragement. I will admit now, but perhaps not later, that there have been occasions where I have had the alarm on my Kindle Fire to go off once an hour playing Mary J. Blige's Work That.

This article has shown that we can encourage with our words, flowers, greeting cards, music and even cell phone alarms. So, the question for you this Serene Sunday is what is your secret way to encourage people?

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Sensational Saturday - Beat Him to the Car

Sensational Saturday - it is sensational to beat your husband to the door to go out.

Each Sensational Saturday throughout the month of October will be dedicated to sharing some of the best marital advice I have gotten from friends. I have been happily married for 22 years and I have to admit that it is in part due to advice I got from some people who were close to me.  Previous Sensational Saturday articles dealt with giving your spouse something real at home and with never going to bed angry. Next week, the final Sensational Saturday article in the series will deal with going to Starbucks. This Sensational Saturday is about the advice I got from a friend to "beat him to the door."

When I was married six months or so, my husband asked if I wanted to accompany him on some errand or another and I did not. When I told my friend Marcia about it later she said, "No, never tell your husband you don't want to go out. He will stop asking and you will cry. Next time, beat him to the door." She told me to keep a dress ready on the back of the bedroom door and a to go purse because I could get dressed in the car.  Since that day I have followed Marcia's advice. When Darren wants to go out, I get up and go. I show my support and provide the pleasure of my company. Maybe as a result, he still calls me his favorite travel companion.

A funny thing about that "beat him to the door advice" is that I taught it to the children. Whenever Darren wants to go for a drive the kids run to get to the car before their daddy. It is funny. All the kids have learned that in the summer, Darren will pick up and go on an overnight road trip with no notice. They all keep summer back packs with clothes and a favorite toy so that if Daddy says let's go, they grab the bags and go.

Perhaps the real beauty of the "beat him to the door" advice is that it made me keep hanging out with Darren. It made me continue to hang out with him and do things with him. Everyone has heard the saying, "the family that prays together, stays together."   Perhaps it is also true that the family that hangs out together stays together. So the question for you this Sensational Saturday is, what is your secret for keeping your family together and strong?

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fantastic Friday -Faking Confidence in Front Of Clients

Fantastic Friday - it is fantastic to fake confidence in front of clients until the real thing comes.

Each Fantastic Friday throughout the month of October has been dedicated to faking confidence in a variety of situations. Previous Fantastic Fridays in October dealt with faking confidence when speaking in public and faking confidence at networking events. Next week, the final Fantastic Friday for October will deal with faking confidence with professional peers. This week, Fantastic Friday is all about faking confidence in front of clients. 

photo credit: SweetOnVeg via photopin cc

Most entrepreneurs have had an occasion at least once in their careers where they had to deal with a client when they weren't feeling the most confident. If one is to be honest, there are times when you have to get in front of a client on a day when you have had a fight with a spouse, a flat tire on the way to the meeting and left all your business cards on the dining room table and yesterday no prospect wanted to hear anything you had to say. These things happen in the life of every entrepreneur and they are a blow to the confidence. However, when those occasions happen, you as the entrepreneur still have to show up like a grown up and get business done. 

It is natural for your confidence to be shaken in situations where you have had several failures with clients recently. Those failures may shake your confidence and make you feel has though you have lost the special thing that made you an expert in your field. At those times you must get dressed, by that I mean you must put on your big girl panties and your fake it until you make it dress and act as if you are confident in what you are about to say to your client. In order to be successful in dealing with confidence, you actions must be based upon reality. To project confidence when you do not actually feel confident, you must start with preparation.

Whatever your industry, whatever your area of business, you must continually educate yourself and keep up to date with the latest news, advances and players in your industry. It is important for you to do research on your clients. If you know what is going on with them you can do a better job helping your clients. In addition, it gives you a base of knowledge upon which to build. When you know your industry, and are able to discuss it with others in a knowledgeable manner you appear to be expert at what you do. When you know your client, understand the business environment in which your client works and even remember the little stories the client has told you about family you  are building a base from which confidence will flow when needed.

When meeting with a client on a day like the one described above there are two tactics you can take:

- tell the client about the situation
- don't tell the client about the situation

If you choose to tell the client about the situation, tell the story in a joking manner. Then let the client know you are glad to have the client meeting so that you can put yourself into your work and some sanity. For example I once had an executive going in to meet a prospect who took off his jacket and put it on the passenger seat of the car. He did not realize that one of his children had left an open paint container on the seat. During the drive the paint spilled and ruined his expensive suit jacket. This meant that instead of meeting the prospect looking professional and successful, the executive was going to go in half dressed and looking unprepared.The choice was to go home or go to the meeting and try to make lemonade out of lemons.  So the executive went into the meeting with the damaged jacket. He told the prospect he considered rescheduling because of the ruined appearance, but didn't because he knew the prospect's time was valuable. The executive and the prospect, who became a client had a good laugh at the things kids do to their parents. By telling the client that you are willing, able and ready to meet the client's needs and solve the client's problems without regard to your personal problems you are able to impress the client and make the client feel valued and important to you.

If you choose not to tell the client about the situation, hold your head up, stick your chest out and move forward safe in the knowledge that you are good at what you do, you have done the necessary research and you are prepared to make this relationship with the client beneficial for you both. Doing research and preparing in advance for each meeting with a prospect or a client arms you with information. The client is paying you for your information, expertise and talent so put on a smiling face and a confident attitude to make the client feel you are worthy of the investment.

A funny thing happens when you research and prepare in advance for client meetings. You may start the meeting faking confidence, but as the meeting continues you will realize that you deserve the client's business, you can handle the client's business and you will do well with the client's business. In the end, fake confidence will become real confidence as your satisfaction with your hard work pays off.

It is easy to fake confidence with a client if you have researched and prepared in advance. So the question for you this Fantastic Friday is, have you ever had to fake confidence with a client?

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Thrilling Thursday - Life After Demotion

Thrilling Thursday - it is thrilling to know that good things are still possible after a demotion.

Each Thrilling Thursday throughout the month of October has been devoted to helping people survive and thrive after a major professional misfortune. The past two Thrilling Thursday articles have dealt with surviving a business failure and going on after being denied a raise. Next week, the final Thrilling Thursday for October will deal with surviving public embarrassment. This Thrilling Thursday is devoted to how to cope after you have been demoted at work. 

photo credit: C.A. Mullhaupt via photopin cc

Whenever people are employed working for others, the possibilities always exists that an employee can be demoted or moved to a lower position. There are a great number of reasons why a person would be demoted among them:

  • downturn in the economy that causes one to be demoted or fired
  • poor work performance
  • change in management 
  • corporate restructuring
The fact remains however that it doesn't matter why a person is demoted, it is human nature to desire to be raised up and not put down. So if one goes from supervisor to line worker, for example, there are bound to be some issues. There will be even more problems if one is demoted while a former subordinate is promoted. If one is demoted and begins working with people one used to supervise and not treat nicely another set of issues arises. 

No matter what the reason for the demotion and no matter who the people are one must work with in the future, it is time to get dressed: put on your big girl panties and your fake it until you make it dress. Even though demotion is normally an unpleasant experience, you must find a way to handle it with dignity and grace. There are several steps to take when you are demoted that may make handling the situation less onerous for you. 

First, accept the fact that you have been demoted. No matter what else you do, you  must accept that fact and be honest with yourself. Next, find out the reason for demotion. If the demotion was caused by things beyond your control, stay calm, sometimes bad things happen in business, but you must continue to work so that the demotion does not turn into a termination. If the demotion was caused by your less than satisfactory job performance, talk with the person demoting you. You will need to find out the road to restoration, how it is possible for you to your previous high standing. Third, if you are demoted and now on equal footing with people you once supervised and treated without keeping the Golden Rule in mind, you have to find a way to make amends and quickly. Your new co-workers who are now on equal footing with you,will have no problem taking every action possible to remind you of your new position. There is no reason to worry about this. It is going to happen, so be ready for it and move on. If a former subordinate becomes your superior once you are demoted you will have to suck it up and start working.

After the demotion, take a breath.  It is time to make decisions. You must decide to either:

1.   accept that you have been demoted and decide to stay in the new position and work
2.   accept that you have been demoted and decide to work hard to be restored within the organization
3.   accept that you have been demoted and quit on the spot
4.   accept that you have been demoted and work to restore your reputation at your current organization so that you can be in good standing so you can get a good referral when you move on to another position

Look back at the list just above. One thing will stand out for you. That thing is the fact that no matter what else you do, everything starts with accepting that the demotion has taken place. Like most things in life, the road to where ever it is you are going start with knowing and accepting where you are now.  Once you have decided which of the options you are going to take, move forward with a clear head, a courageous heart and a clear plan. 

 Do the job you now have and do it to the best of our ability. Be respectful, courteous and dedicated. In other words, do your job. Once you have been demoted, you are on the company's radar, you have caught the eye of people in power. By doing your job and doing it well, even after demotion, the people who made decision to demote you will realize it was a good decision not to terminate you and that there may be a reason to restore you in the future.  You need to do your job well because you should always have pride of ownership in anything you do. One of my favorite Andre Crouch songs has the line, "everything he does, he does it well." That should be your new course of action, do your job and do it well. Developing the habit of doing what ever it is you do well, is a good practice for life in the work place and outside the work place. It will serve you well in the future.

In sum, with careful planning, you can survive being demoted. In some cases, it is possible to thrive. So, the question for you this Thrilling Thursday is what is your advice for surviving a demotion?