Archives for October 2008

Clarity Empowers Progress

When we are crystal clear about where we are and where we want to be, we create less stress and more often hit targeted objectives. It’s darn hard to find our true calling when we aren’t willing to be clear and specific about how we want our life’s work to be.

Enhanced efficiency and effectiveness in the quest for authentic work is more prevalent when we are confidently clear about what we want. And I don’t mean being clear about being a butcher, a baker or a candlestick maker. Selecting an already existing profession can be the deadest of ends. I do mean being clear about how we want to feel in the enjoyment of our ideal work.

Don’t Tell Me What You Don’t Want

Most folks when asked what they want, will clearly answer with what they don’t want. They can tell you how unfair their boss is and how uninspiring the work is.

Or they’ll tell you a story about how hard it is to decide on what they really want. Or they’ll try to convince you that the time is not right to dedicate working on what they want. Some will even present a compelling case explaining why it’s not possible for them to get what they want.

Have you ever wondered why so many are so good at explaining all about what they don’t want?

Why do you think so many suck at just saying what it is that they want?
They already hate their job, how much worse could it possibly get?

You Can’t Get There From Here

The clarity of exactness and preciseness increases the probability of intentional manifestation. Maybe that’s what keeps many from choosing. A couple of participants on a recent group coaching call, supporting our community leveraging experiment, admitted as much.

When we definitely state what we want, in stark specificity, we have chosen, haven’t we? Perhaps that’s why folks choose to remain confused and general because you can’t really commit to a generality, can you?

Try dedicating yourself to excellence in vagueness. Yes you can develop the inspired confidence to move mountains but you’ve got to identify the damn mountains! If you don’t commit then you can’t fail but you can’t succeed either. Without clarity and inspired commitment your only choice is to remain safely frozen in whatever waiting hell you’ve created.

You Can Only Get There From Here

The clarity of exactness and preciseness increases the probability of intentional manifestation by creating a living laboratory for evolutionary learning. In succeeding or in failing we see greater openings for opportunity.

Safety is a myth. Certainly more of us are realizing that the only true economic and emotional security is found within self-created opportunities of self-employment. Calling your own shots includes controlling your own firing squad. It’s not pretty when someone else lines you up from dismissal.

What You Can Do Now

You can embrace this lesson and insert greater clarity, decisiveness and specificity into every aspect of your life. Practice being bold and confident; never again ask, “What are you having?” Order what you want in every aspect of life and you will have increased your probability of getting it.

Yes, clarity and specificity forces commitment and that’s a very good thing.

Now I’m going to tell you a little known secret to discovering the work or business of your dreams.

A wild ass guess from the depths of your own gut and heart is far better than any copycat plan designed by another. Career Coach Tom Volkar

How about you? Could you more exactly state what you want?

Leveraging Community

I’m asking for your support and in return I’ve got something for you.

The Helping Spirit

The true meaning of life is to plant trees, under whose shade you do not expect to sit. Nelson Henderson

I thought about my Dad while pruning the apple trees he planted in an orchard that would not bear fruit, until after he passed. My family recently gathered to help Mom maintain her home.

Here I’m holding my nephew Ben’s son Eli, in front of the family bonfire where we burned those pruned limbs. Eli was conceived but not yet born when my Dad made his transition. It feels good to recognize my Dad’s loving spirit living on in his kinfolk.

Selfishness is Good

You can get everything in life you want if you will just help enough other people get what they want. Zig Ziglar.

From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing, which has any first and foremost object but one: to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for himself. Mark Twain

Even when we help others isn’t there a part of us that relishes the return in good feelings? Isn’t that a part of our motivation to help in the first place?

When you become truly selfish, you’ll have the extra reserves needed to really care about – and be generous with others. Thomas Leonard

The ruthless determination and the generous philanthropy of folks like Bill Gates and Richard Branson proves this point very well.

A Big Question

How could I solve my most pressing business challenge and at the same time possibly help many others even more than I help myself?

The Answer

By asking for your participation in a viral community building experiment. My most surprising blessing of blogging was realizing the generous spirit of service that bloggers combine with sound leveraging strategy.

I guess you could call this experiment a spiritual infomercial or an exercise in mutual hand washing.

I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do. Edward Everett Hale

I admit I’m a bit fearful of sticking my neck out but I’ll not let that stop me. I believe that together we can leverage our intentions to support one another in this experiment. I’m really curious to see how this is received.

 

If you are curious about my next innovative connection experiment contact me here and tell me why.

Got It?

We ask this question to check for understanding. We can also gain insight by questioning ourselves. When grasping new knowledge, it’s useful to both discover what we are newly aware of and then to express that realization.

Grasping and expressing a newfound realization can be the most powerful outcome of honoring agreements. As a career coach specializing in authentic business building and self-employment freedom leaping, making agreements with my clients is essential. The resulting value of keeping agreements makes up for a lack of experience in budding entrepreneurs.

Honoring agreements is a leveraged tool because it builds confidence, delivers an intended result and creates fresh perspective, all in one. From the vantage point of fresh perspective we can see greater opportunities than we could previously and we see them in a different light. That’s when one needs to ask oneself this power question to complete this leveraged learning opportunity.

What have I realized as a result of completing this distinctly new action?

Realizations are often the greatest result from completing agreements, because they can be parlayed into even greater understanding and sustainable evergreen wisdom.

If you aren’t taking every opportunity to question yourself about your realizations then you are squandering opportunities for which you’ve already done the work.

Guy Kawasaki’s talk on Innovation and introduced his concept of jumping to the next curve of innovation.

Let’s look at career guidance and where the existing curve began. The start of the curve could be called economic survival. When my folks were coming of age in 1940 they gave little thought to fulfillment and took the best job they could find to feed their family.

The next point on the curve could be high school guidance counselors and their pitiful attempts to place everyone in a pre-existing box. Graduating from high school in 1968, I recall four labels in my yearbook that represented our only available choices of study. General – “you’re a loser get a job in the mill.” Commercial – “you’re not the brightest gal, so maybe you can be a secretary.” Academic – “you’re bright enough to go to college, so go and you might figure it out there.” Scientific – “you’re a genius-nerd who could become a doctor if you don’t squander your intelligence.” No wonder our college years were such a relief.

The abundance of choices in an atmosphere of relative freedom made college seem like Nirvana compared to high school. With raised expectations, we hoped that our college career counselors could finally help us nail our career identification quest. But to our disappointment, this next leap in the curve was barely a hop. Those overworked counselors simply added confusing psychological assessments that raised more questions than answers.

Many of us left with a university education but no more prepared to find our true calling. Upon reflection, perhaps there was never much of a curve at all, because when we entered the work force, many of us did the same thing that our parents did. We took the best job we could find. Then after 10-30 years of less-than-fulfilling work, the courageous among us began to ask, “Is this as good as it gets?”

Join me in my next post to read the continuing evolution of career guidance and discovery. I’ll also share my realizations regarding jumping this curve.

Do you usually reflect to recognize realizations?

Have you typically asked yourself what you’ve realized from honoring your agreements?

For that matter, do you typically make explicit agreements?

What was the essential leap of understanding in your right livelihood quest?

There is a shortcut to discovering your authentic business. Request a complimentary Confidently Make the Leap strategy session.   [Read more…]

Finding Your Path to a Successful Business Startup

Budding entrepreneurs who want to discover and run the authentic business of their dreams often get bogged down in pre-startup analysis and research. Sometimes they wait for the brilliant light of epiphany along with horns of eureka to verify their business idea. But what if the trumpets never sound and the blinding light of clarity never occurs?

 

What does that mean? Does it mean that your idea isn’t good enough? Does it mean that you don’t have what it takes? Does it mean that you need to continue in analysis until an epiphany does strike you? No, no and no. It could only mean that you are still feeling more fear and self-doubt than determined confidence. Here’s a better question. Why are you attempting to find this path alone when you could hire a guide to show you the way?

What Coaches Do

Thomas Leonard is credited as the first to call himself a coach – but even he thought that “coach” was an incomplete description. The word coach originally comes from a small town in Hungary, Kocs, where they made carts. Three centuries later, in 1800s England, it became slang for a tutor who “carries” a student through an exam. Coaches do remain with you throughout your journey and the “carrying” we do resembles the challenging encouragement and raising-the-bar accountability typical of an athletic coach. But we also do much more.

Blogging Coaches are distinct from self-improvement bloggers, and even from non-blogging coaches, because our daily work goes beyond coaching and blogging alone. Every day we guide clients in the engagement of what we blog about as they move to where they want to be. So we get to write about processes, test them on committed clients, see the results, make adjustments, refine further and then share our realizations in writing.

Self-improvement by itself isn’t worth much if you remain stuck within the same limiting situation. If you read and don’t seem to change fast enough, perhaps it’s not the quality of the material you are reading but it is your engagement that needs to be adjusted. People hire coaches to help them improve, not themselves, but the situations where in they find themselves. The self-improvement occurs as a natural by-product of the courageous actions that clients take.

Tom’s Special Brand of Coaching

People hire me to help them make very personal discoveries, which lead to committed decisions. Those decisions lead to focus and to taking right action. That action changes your perspective and you are then able to see more opportunities to which you were once blind. My clients are investing in more of a guided journey than in an education.

In actuality, I’m a career coach who specializes in guided movement.

There are times, when I’m a pure guide, leading, showing the way and pointing out the course to be taken.

Often I’m a pathfinder, guiding you through the unexplored regions of your own authenticity. If you’ve decided to begin the journey of discovering an authentic business most likely you’re more comfortable working in the safe familiar regions conditioned by your upbringing.

My calling is to outfit you with the proper tools for your journey and guide you along the way. Ultimately, I hold your hand as you leap from the cliffs of employment out into the unknown freedom of self-employment.

Your special authentic path must be a newly found path because no one has ever walked it before. Only you can walk that path and build that business in the way you were meant to build it. Your talents and strengths have blessed you with the raw potential to walk your path.

I’m just your guide. I can’t use my machete to blaze your trail because it’s your trail. But I can show you how to sharpen your own machete. I can guide you along the path as we walk together until you need to veer off and lead the way.

But even then I have your back. I stay right with you in case you get bogged down in the quicksand of fear or lose your way in the murkiness of uncertainty and self-doubt.

Request your complimentary Making the Leap strategy session here. 

 

 

Authoring Your Own Life

You are your own best authority. You know what works best for you and what doesn’t. Even though it may appear more comforting to receive validation of a business plan or startup idea from another, your best bet is to trust yourself.

The bottom line is, no one cares about you as much as you do. Authoring ones own life is about engaging the courage to follow ones own gut. It’s about being your own man or woman in every way.

We hear it all the time. Be all of who you are. To do that, it’s necessary to take off all masks you could be hiding behind so that the real you has space to emerge. I work with many would-be entrepreneurs in my career coaching practice and so far, everyone of them, at some point, goes through a crisis of self-confidence.

Even though you may be fortunate to find sufficient encouragement on the outside, your true authority is found within. I find it fascinating that authentic, authority and author all share the same word roots. In fact, the origin of authentic is authoritative, which meant acting as ones one authority. That’s exactly the self-assigned credibility that any new entrepreneur needs to declare.

I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don’t have as many people who believe it.
George Carlin

Like many of Carlin’s best lines, he wasn’t really kidding. In the design and authoring of your own life, you have more authority than any recognized authority figure. Without recognition of your own authority you have not really accepted responsibility. Without responsibility you don’t have dominion, power, or the prerogative to call your own shots.

Outside certifications, information products and educational degrees could be exactly what you need or they could be just what someone else thinks you need. Going back to school isn’t always the answer. Permission to be fully authentic is a self-given authority. Seize it now.

Everyone needs to question outside authority, because rarely do they have your best interests at heart. But when it comes to your own authority, self-questioning of your inherent ability only leads to greater doubt. Many who question their own authority are really afraid of how their life may change once they are wildly successful.

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.
Marianne Williamson

If you’ve never read this entire Williamson passage go here and prepared to be inspired.

Some hopeful entrepreneurs fall into the double trap of comparing themselves to others while at the same time caring too much about what others think. That’s a slippery pit to climb out of because looking without abdicates self-authority.

What’s fascinating is that those same folks think that their success is dependent on the government, the economy or some other outside authority. It’s not. Your success is up to you and that’s a good thing. Along with that responsibility comes your ability and authority to write the script for your own life.

You’re writing it anyway, whether you’re aware of it or not. Might as well add some intentionality to your script and author the life that you most want to live.

Before I came to this realization, in movie genres, my life was mostly a drama. Since I’ve had script control, I’ve decided to make it an inspirational feel-good story.

How about you? What has the movie of your life been so far, a tragedy, a comedy or perhaps even a thriller?

What would you like it to be? Begin intentionally writing today because you’re living it right now.