Where A Woman of a Certain Age Ruminates and Resonates

I started this blog because I have something to say. Keeping up with it has proven to be a challenge -- what can I say? The cobbler's kids have no shoes! Translation - I've been so busy writing for my wonderful clients that I haven't made time to write for myself. So thanks for that and yes to more!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Engagement - Not the Diamond Ring Kind

“There have been a couple of jobs I've done without thinking, without being engaged, and they just stink.” Clancy Brown.
If you’ve seen the first Highlander movie, or the Shawshank Redemption, you can’t miss this tall, dynamic actor with the cold blue eyes and fierce visage. He’s been engaged in the acting trade for well over 20 years because it’s something he loves. 
Every self-development book I’ve plowed through in the last few years tells us that any change starts with being involved right now, where we are. Personally, professionally, socially – wherever we focus our attention – we need to give at least 100%.
Being fully present in the job where you are, whether it’s in a cube, or at your desk, keeps you on the road to success. If you go to work for someone else, you must provide services for the paycheck you receive. A warm body filling the chair serves no one. Wasting the company’s time and money, as well as your own, devalues both parties. 
I was a legal assistant for 18 years because I loved the hurly burly of a litigator’s practice. I left it because it wasn’t fun anymore. I realized that doing something I didn’t love was sucking the life out of me. So I found something amazing that represented opportunity for growth. I stepped right in and soon found ways to contribute over and above what my job description entailed. Note to self – make sure the company is receptive to what you want to give, otherwise, you’ll end up feeling like a round peg in a square hole. And that stinks!
If you join a group, go to the meetings, hold an office and make a difference. A mentor or mine recently used this analogy, "Don't come to the meetings with 75 cents in your pocket, expecting to take home $1.50." To get, you gotta give. And you gotta give BIG! You can't fathom how big you get back.
Inherent in fulfilling personal relationships is engagement on every level. Again, to give anything less is disrespectful to you and your partner. Life today is full of distractions and those outside influences can take over if we let them. Put down the Blackberry, turn off the television and be available to your partner and your children. It’s the right thing to do and it matters.
The same goes for your social relationships. Everyone you come into contact with deserves your full and considerate attention. It’s no secret that rudeness dominates behavior in our everyday exchanges. Somehow, we’ve forgotten The Golden Rule – “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” Put yourself on the other side of the counter, the table, or the desk. You are getting their full attention, they merit yours. Hang up and interact!
Engagement means choosing to show up for your own life. It’s yours to do, be and have. Get involved and make an impact. Join, volunteer, do something extra. You’ll be amazed at how your life will become! 

Monday, August 31, 2009

Application Brief

I'm reading "Think and Grow Rich" by Napoleon Hill and mentally kicking myself in the pants for not reading it 20 years earlier when it was first recommended to me. Back then, all I wanted to read were those "potboiler" stories featuring half-naked studly guys and their maidens perpetually in dishabille or distress. When all you want is to be loved, you immerse yourself in stories about love and guess what, that's what you get.

Now I want to be prosperous and enjoy the freedoms of an abundant life...hence all the reading about money, wealth and self-development. And I've got plenty of love in my life! Proof that Mr. Hill's dictate, "Keep your mind on the things you want and off the things you don't want" really works.

Chapter Six covers Organized Planning -- Crystallizing Desire into Action. And he actually outlines putting together a "Application Brief" to get a job. As a professional resume writer, I paid particular attention to the opening paragraph where Mr. Hill advises that, " . . . unless the applicant is experienced in the preparation of such brief, an expert should be consulted, and his services enlisted for that purpose." Hill cites  companies who hire advertising experts to market their products. He counsels that those selling their personal services for sale should follow suit in hiring those with expertise in marketing. And what is a resume if not a marketing statement? At any rate, I was so pleased to get validation for my passion to help people from such a highly-regarded source. Wow!

Hill goes on to list elements the brief (never uses the "R" word anywhere) should contain, including a photo, references, and an offer to work on probation. Okay, so the book was written in 1937, when our country was in the throes of a depression that echoes today's tough times. Parts of this chapter, though, are still relevant for today's job seeker.

#5 on the list is Apply for a specific position. I can't tell you how many resumes include an objective (employers don't care), but nothing stating what position the person is seeking. Hill emphasizes that you should never apply for "just a position" as it indicates you lack specialized qualifications. In other words, there's no such thing as a generic resume. If you aren't special, why should someone hire you?

#6. State your qualifications. Hill advocates providing full details about why the applicant is qualified and goes on to say this is probably the most important detail of the application. Qualifications based on achievements -- not "responsible fors" are what makes a hiring manager reply to your email.

#8. Knowledge of your prospective employer's business. Back in 1937, it might have been a challenge to find out about the business, but with today's information stream, there's no excuse lack of due diligence. Hill says that if you know about the company, you're showing imagination and creativity. It also means that you're motivated and thorough, all qualities employers are seeking.

There was some stuff listed that well, doesn't cut it in modern times. I got a big laugh from this statement.  "Do not be afraid of making the brief too long." Ha! Some of the resumes I've reviewed indicate the writers read Mr. Hill's book. Obviously, that practice won't cut it in today's uber-competitive market. If you're on the Do It Yourself Resume path, brevity should be your watchword.

Napoleon Hill's advice about hiring experts to do what they do best so you can do what you do best is right on target. You have something to offer that deserves to best showcased in the most outstanding way possible. Investing in a service that specializes in highlight who you are and what you've done could add thousands of dollars to your salary.

Everyone who wants to get to their next level of success should read this book. And if you've been in a job search for too long because you're sending out a DIY resume, maybe it's time to seek out an expert who can make a difference.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Money is Awesome!

Money, moolah, dinero, green stuff, fun tickets – however you say it, it conjures up powerful images, good and bad. I watched a show last night about lotto winners and how their winnings affected their lives. Three different couples were profiled, including a guy who won Red Sox season tickets for a LIFETIME. All three couples reacted differently and that was what struck me. Then today I read a chapter in “Think and Grow Rich” about a preacher who needed $1 million so he preached a sermon about what he would do if he had a million dollars. Whoa…that’s some woo woo stuff right there.
                The first couple remarked that they would tear up the ticket if they thought the $2.5 million was going to ruin them. I didn’t see that coming. View the bounty as ruination and turn down the chance to expand your life?  Well, instead, they did what most folks would do – pay the bills, buy new vehicles and go on some trips. AND unlike most folks, they both kept their jobs because they love what they do. Imagine going to work simply because you love it. I think it was my mother who told me do what you love and the money will come. I’m writing because that’s what I love and the money is flowing to me so OMG, my mother was right!! But that's another blog.
                The second couple represents a classic example of why people think money is bad. The wife suffered a stroke, the husband flailed around for a year bored out of his mind, and worst of all, they had to move from the tiny town they called home because they couldn’t handle the pressure. Their neighbors hounded them incessantly about helping them out. Huh? Your neighbor wins money and you think he should pay your phone bill? Clearly an example of why people think money is bad.
                The last couple really stood out because the husband remarked that he could have won $10 million and wouldn’t feel as good as he did with lifetime Red Sox tickets. Now there’s a guy with his priorities straight. He and his wife trade the tickets for services like babysitting and plumbing. The only bone of contention is when the boys from New York come to town because the wife is a Yankees fan.
                I love money and what it can do. In learning about money, and what it means, I’ve discovered it was controlling me. Since the past doesn’t equal the future, I now control money and how I use it. It means freedom to do, be and have. It does great good. It brings relief, and always gratitude.
                What would I do with a million bucks? Grow it into ten million and give half of it away and enjoy every moment of every day. Oh wait…I’m already doing that so I’m already wealthy. What would you do?
Thanks for taking the time to read this musing and I always enjoy your comments.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


In my quest to bring evermore prosperity and abundance into my life, I have listened to this expert, read that one, and watched yet another. I’m getting some very clear messages about consistency and it’s comforting to know that something I do naturally as breathing is a key component to success.

Consistent patterns, routines and behaviors provide structure, focus and discipline. I get that and I thrive on it. I started a 21-day program to build wealth and am on Day Two, starting over after a weekend of distraction and unfocused inaction. I made it through four days last week. I’m as guilty of taking a left turn at the daisies as the next person and frequently used that as an excuse to make bad choices and indulge in non-productive behaviors. And that’s why I am where I am. Which isn’t where I want to be. Hence the quest for consistency.

Mary Kay tells us to make a list of six things to do every day. Steven Covey goes into those seven habits for effective people. Stuart Ross told me last night to post a blog entry every day. Bruce Muzik teaches that essential daily habits keep us focused on the Inspired Outcome. Remember that adage about taking 21 days to form a habit? The common thread here is regular habits and actions forge a strong foundation for achieving goals.

Some people thrive on chaos. Their only consistency is inconsistency. I wouldn’t know how to be one of those people. Consistency means order and chaos is messy. Consistency means focus and chaos is disarray. Consistency is abundance and chaos is lack. It’s that simple.

Those same people might acquaint consistency with boredom or dullness. I say consistency in the things that matter makes it easier to embrace different options and choices. If anything, consistency can mean freedom to explore, to choose, to try something new.

The amazing thing is that it’s working. Every day brings possibility, opportunity, and clients. It’s all in the choices I’m making and the paths I’m choosing. And that is consistently awesome!

Remember, champions are driven by their dream, but created by their routine. – Allison LaMarr, Digging Deeper. www.allisonlamarronline.com