Archives for October 2011

Preventing Wildfires?

October 15, 2011 Leave a Comment

By Sheila Unique, Energetic Coach

Smokey the Bear says, ‘only you can prevent wildfires!’ Do you remember those commercials when summer approaches and the national parks encourage people to be responsible when it comes to campfires?  Wildfires don’t only happen in the forests.

Think about the last time you celebrated some great news with a colleague. Maybe they got a promotion or maybe they ventured out on their own, now becoming self employed.  The ‘spark’ of the news opened the door for celebration.  As you continue to share the news with others, that word of mouth sharing adds ‘fuel’ to the fire, giving wonderful energy and support to the colleague as they transition into the next phase of their life. Now a wildfire has been set in motion giving great energy of support.  What you give energy to expands.

Now think about sitting around the board room table waiting for all the attendees to show up for your meeting.  Someone starts to talk about the financial crisis going on in the world.  They share how it could affect your company and that something needs to be done about it.  Soon there are 3 or 4 people fuelling that conversation and the wildfire takes over.  The spark of energy has been set in motion and the fuel continues to keep that crisis alive.  Energetically speaking, if the conversation turns into a downward spiral where the energy of the group becomes negative and heavy so to speak, there is a wildfire that can become out of control.  The energy that surrounds conversations determines the direction of how the group will feel when they leave that boardroom.  What you give energy to expands.

There will always be sparks in your life, those moments of sharing good or bad news.  There will always be opportunities to add fuel to those sparks. The opportunities will present themselves giving you a chance to say something in response to what has been shared. Does there have to be a wildfire where we call in Smokey the Bear to put the fire out, or can we be responsible to know when to let the spark burn itself out?  There is a difference between ignoring what is shared and knowing when to let the
conversation naturally come to a close.  Wildfires don’t only happen in forests and not all wildfires are bad. How much fuel or energy you give to a conversation makes all the difference in the size of a fire.  How will you know?

-Sheila Unique, Master Energetic Intuitive

Sheila Unique, Energetic Coach
One Quick Shift…One Powerful You!

Did Martin Luther King Jr. have holes in his socks?

October 9, 2011 1 Comment
With all due respect to one of my greatest heroes, I think he would have approved of me asking this question.When I was young I always had holes in my socks.  I hid them in shame.  The youngest of a large Northern Ontario family, most of what I owned was a hand me down, from siblings and neighbours.  Like most kids in my situation, I often had the experience of an older school mate teasing me that I was wearing something that was once theirs.

So although I was raised on the notion that we are all special, somehow “special” didn’t seem so special at all.   It felt weak and powerless.  I knew without asking, that many of the kids around me felt much the same way.

When we spoke of great leaders of our time, Mother Teresa, Ghandi, Martin Luther King Jr., everyone around me, spoke of them as though they were somehow different than us, greater than us, people to be revered.   Never in my wildest dreams could I have imagined myself as someone with the power to sway the thinking of society or create great change.   Such thought would be sheer arrogance.

But I am certain, without confirmation, that Martin Luther King Jr. spent more than a few days in his life with holes in his socks.  He was once a child, like me. Then a man, with the problems of a man.  He made mistakes.  He sometimes offended people without intention.  His humanity was part of what made him so magnetic.   Having been inspired by the work of Mohandas Ghandi, I think King would smile fondly at reference to the holes in his socks.

Gandhi was another such man.  By choice, Ghandi wore homespun.  Many would tell you that he made this choice that the people could see him as one of them.  The more profound truth that Ghandi taught with this guesture was simply this – even a person in simple homespun could be Ghandi.

Oops, I did it again. I doused my own emotional fuel.

October 6, 2011 1 Comment

My dream is to change the global conversation.  I share this dream with my best friend Shawne Duperon.   She pursues it by teaching thought-leaders to engage with the media.   I pursue it by teaching thought-leaders to create word of mouth epidemics.

So the council of thought leaders that Shawne has helped me found  (the Evolutionary Business Council is a collaborative community designed to connect and assist thought-leaders in their mission to change the world.

Typically, when I find someone who is right for the council, it is not difficult to have them join.  I simply tell them honestly how grateful I am for their work.  While I’m talking to them I let my dominant thought sit in my belief that they will create great change in the world.  They are emotionally intelligent people.  They get it.  They get me.  They get the council. They join.

Yesterday I was speaking with a thought leader (I’ll call her Janice) who is doing some phenomenal work with teaching skills for emotional intelligence.  I slipped.  My dominant thought became “How great!  I can use the additional membership fees to hire the extra Virtual Assistant we need”.  Janice was a smart lady.   She felt it.  She didn’t join.

Ironic that she teaches emotional intelligence.  Because it was a moment of learning about mine.

The fuel in your wildfire is not so much your own passion for what you do, but how others respond to your passion.  Their emotional intelligence picks up on who you are and how deeply you care.

Today’s tip…

Think about what you’re thinking when you’re selling someone.  The harsh truth is that they get you.  Your dominant thought will influence whether or not they are sold.

Is your solution looking for a problem?

October 5, 2011 Leave a Comment

So you have a great idea?  But you can’t figure out why no one else loves it, right?

I see this in business owners and change agents all they time.  The desire to improve things, perfect things, add value.  But if no one is catching onto your idea, it’s likely a simple situation that you are not really solving a problem for them.

One of my early business mentors (yes you Pat Sprague) used to call this “a solution looking for a problem”.  Reality is, if you’re not really solving something that’s a major pain for people, don’t expect them to buy the solution you’re offering.

Big pain, big profit.   Or,  as we say in the game of creating wildfire word of mouth epidemics,  Big spark catches easy!

10 Things to Do to Become a Trusted Expert and Thought Leader

October 4, 2011 Leave a Comment

By Lisa Elia

1. Educate yourself.

Even if you hold an advanced degree in your field, there is always more to learn in your own field and in other arenas that will help you become more creative and resourceful. This will automatically spill into your communications.
2. Get the facts.
Add facts and figures to some of your articles to substantiate your opinions, but only include information from reputable, high-level sources, such as top universities, research institutions or government agencies that provide solid research.
3. Know your industry.
Keep up with the trends and discussions occurring in your industry so you can comment on them when asked by potential clients, colleagues and members of the media.
4. Keep up with technology.
Know specifically how current events and technological developments affect your industry. For example, does new technology influence the products or services you can provide or the way you deliver them? How do new developments affect your followers?
Woman with high-tech screen
5. Have an opinion.
Quite often people are so afraid of alienating some people or not appealing to everyone that they don’t commit to an opinion. However, you will attract “your tribe”, those people who truly resonate with you, ONLY when you clearly state your opinion.
Women with coffee cups
6. Play nicely with others.
Mingle with other experts in your field so they consider you when seeking colleagues to share stages with them or to refer to the media or potential clients they cannot or choose not to serve.
7. Be the solution.
Don’t merely state problems. Provide concrete solutions, tips and resources to help solve those problems.
8. Anticipate their needs.
It’s important to not only stay in touch with the needs of your followers/your audience, but to know what they need before they know they need it. This is how you can advise them on mistakes to avoid and shortcuts to take to help them succeed more easily.
9. Don’t be a stranger.
Whether you share information through your blog, Facebook, a newspaper column or TV segments, keep giving your audience more good information. Don’t tease them with some golden nuggets of wisdom and then disappear for months on end…unless you’re doing something amazing for humanity in some remote place with no Internet access.
10. Get fresh.
Add something new and fresh to the world conversation. People are always looking for creative approaches to old problems, new opportunities that they haven’t considered and hope that there are untraveled roads to be traveled. Show them the way.

Copyright 2011
Lisa Elia

Would you tell a drowning man to just swim to the ship?

October 1, 2011 Leave a Comment

It was a dark and stormy night. OK, that’s a cheesy opening. Bear with me.

You’re on a ship in a storm. You’re an excellent swimmer. In spite of some nervousness, you stand solidly at the ship’s rail. Suddenly, a man is washed overboard. He’s in trouble. He can barely swim.

“Try the side stroke,” you scream. Mimicking the motions from the deck. “It’s easier”.

“Throw me the life ring,” he screams back.

“No really” you say. “Swimming is easy. Just do this,” you say, pantomiming the motions.

Swear words scream from the drowning man’s lips as he shouts at you to throw him the life ring.

“How rude,” you think. “Doesn’t he know I’m trying to help him?”

Sound ridiculous?

If you’re shaking your head saying “I would never do that. I’d throw him the life ring,” than think again. I see this one all the time in business.

People often try to teach people what they think they really need, rather than meeting people in the immediate situation of what they want. In other words, you can’t teach stress relief to someone who just wants the pain in their back to stop. First you have to help them heal their back pain.

The spark that ignites your wildfire is the problem you solve for others. But here’s the kicker. They need to know they have the problem, and really want to solve it, or they’ll think you’re an idiot trying to teach them to swim when all they really need is a life ring.

In the words of Shawne Duperon, you need to “meet them where they’re at, in order to take them where you want them to go”.

Three tips:

1. Design what you sell to the most immediate pressing pain your customers have. Often what motivated you to get into this line of work was overcoming adversity yourself. So go back and think about your mindset when you were in that adversity. It’ll be your first clue.

2. Be specific. The more people think you’re an expert in their pain, the more likely they are to buy from you and the more they’ll pay you.

3. Not sure? Ask them. Surveys are a great way to find out the words your customers or audience would use. Facebook is one of the best survey tools out there. Post a question to your status feed and see what conversation comes back. You may be pleasantly surprised!