Monday, November 24, 2008

Giving Up Good For Great and Saying Goodbye to a Very Dear Friend

About a week or so ago, I wrote a blog about the difficulty I have saying no. Well, I’ve started integrating that word into my vocabulary. It hasn’t always been easy but it’s been worth it.

Whenever, I talked about taking items off of my plate, I talked about the smaller things. There was one big thing however, that I couldn’t even bear to think of parting with, although, my gut told me that I should. DivaSoulSista is a website I started 5 years ago to write movie reviews. I love movies. I love writing. It was a natural progression.

I designed the site. I created my own logo (and trademarked it). For the first three years, I even wrote all the reviews (then my friend Thomas joined me). It was and is my baby. But it takes a lot of time (seeing one to two and sometimes three movies every week) and lately it’s been taking on more expense as well – expenses that I pay out of pocket.

Right now, however, my strong desire, my passion, is to focus all my efforts on my coaching – being a better coach and growing my coaching practice. Yet whenever I sat down to think of the different projects that I needed to dump, there was one, I couldn’t bear to even think of, DivaSoulSista – my baby.

It’s been five years of my life and the creation of an incredible body of work. I’ve made lasting friendships through my site. It has been there for me consistently as I moved cross-country and back. DivaSoulSista has always been there for me - like a real sister.

But I did it. I picked up the phone and I called Thomas and told him that we’d put our last reviews to bed at the end of this year. The site will remain up and all 500 reviews will be available but we won’t be adding new ones.

I’m not saying 'goodbye', I’m saying 'sabbatical'. Hopefully, once I get my coaching growing and moving in the right direction, I can return to DivaSoulSista with the budget and the renewed energy I need to make it what it should have been and to build it up, but for now, I can’t.

I’ll be honest. This was difficult and I have shed my share of tears over it (I’m shedding some right now). As hard as it has been, it’s also been a big relief and I’m excited about what the future holds. Making the big decision was empowering and gave me the impetus I needed to get rid of a ton of other smaller stuff.

I feel lighter. I’ve looking forward to this immediate future and what it holds. I’m also looking a little further in the future and when I do, I see a little DivaSoulSista peeking out from around the corner, but for right now, she’s out of sight.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

I Need to Clean My Closet

Before you get all ready for some tantalizing confessions, you should know that I really do need to clean my closet – not the metaphorical closet with the skeletons (not too much there ... and what is there is pretty dusty) but the real one, the one with the clothes. And the shoes. And the purses.

I’m pretty organized. Okay, I’m very organized. I am a list-making, planner-carrying, organized fool. I moved into my new house on the Saturday before Labor Day. By the day after Labor Day, every box had been emptied and broken down. Everything had been put away and I had even hung the pictures. I am organized.

But then there is the closet … and the car. I hate that nagging feeling of needing to do this.

Think about how draining those things you should do but haven’t done drain you. Every time you walk by the guest bathroom, and think about that broken towel rack. When you open that desk drawer and can’t even find a pen in amidst all the clutter, it drains you. All these little unfinished and undone tasks drain us of our precious energy.

Think about how great it feels when you’ve done that spring cleaning or when you finally fix that leaky faucet. That’s us reclaiming our energy. Taking care of the little things can make a big difference.

As soon as I get back home (I'm in San Diego as I write this), I'm going to tackle both the closet and the car!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

I'm Just A Girl Who Can't Say No!

As I burned the midnight oil, for yet another night, I had an epiphany. I realized that I was overloaded. My plate is piled high. My cup is running over. There is no more room at the inn!

Ironically, I did a mini-workshop back in September about The Power of No. I talked about harnessing the power of no to take back control over your life. I talked about saying no to new responsiblities. I discussed delegating and spreading out tasks. I even said that some times you have to say no to things you like and enjoy so you can spend your time on the most important and most relevant tasks.

I had a very receptive audience. They really listened to what I had to say. Two months later, I wish I had. I am simply spread too thin. And the hard part is that everything I'm doing is something I love or truly enjoy: coaching, promoting my Feelin' Fine in 2009 teleseminars, my movie review site, my editing responsibilities for the P3 Power Boost magazine, prepping and researching for my next teleseminar and e-book, contributing articles to several magazines, this blog, and I know there are a few things I'm forgetting. As much as I am dreading it, I know I need to say no. Something has to give and if I don't so something what will give is me.

So over the next week or two I have some hard decisions to make. As much as I hate to see something I love go (or at least get placed on the backburner), I'm also excited. I am looking forward to having a little less on my plate.

Cheryl Richardson calls this process giving up good for great. While a lot of what I'm doing is good stuff, by putting it aside, I'm making room from something truly great and who wouldn't be excited about that!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Change is Now

The American people overwhelmingly voted for change. And they got it in the form of the nation's first African-American president, Barack Obama. With the economy in shambles, the mortgage crisis still underway, the war in Iraq, and volatile gas prices, he's got his work cut out for him.

It is historic and unprecedented that he not just won but won in a big way. Yes, he is African-American; but since we only make up 15% if the population, he needed more than our vote to win. He won over whites, Hispanics, old and young, Red Staters and Blue Staters. The excitement in the air is palpable and for many of us too young to remember JFK and MLK, this is the first time we have felt this.

Obama can give us change at the highest levels. He can work on the economic crisis. He can try to bring our boys back home. He can help us start seriously considering and investing in alternate forms of energy to lessen our dependence on foreign oil ... but he can't do it all.

We have to meet him half-way and allow the spirit of change to help us make some necessary changes. This is the part that no one wants to hear. Obama can work on the economic crisis, but we have to work on curbing our spending, cutting our debt and saving some of our hard earned cash.

Obama can try to fix No Child Left Behind and he can work on putting more teachers in the classroom, but we have to make sure that our children are learning and doing their homework. We have to make sure that they are going to school and participating in the process.

Hopefully, Obama can make good on his promises and make real change. Yet, he cannot do it alone. From a political perspective, he'll need the House and the Senate to make that happen. And, in a real and practical way for true and lasting change to take place, it's going to take all of us. Each and everyone.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Play Well With Others

In high school and college, I knew some people who were very smart, very book-smart. They could ace a test and write a great paper. There hands were perpetually raised with that "Oh, oh! I know! I know!" look of smug satisfaction on their faces. They were wonderful performers in an academic environment.

But I was never sure how they would perform outside of the safety of school. For one reason or another, I always felt something was missing. They lacked that social grace and ease that makes networking success a must. Some were too rude and abrasive. Yes, they might have been right, but the way they came across, they'd alienate everyone around them ... including those who were on their team.

Others were too shy and bashful. If the question didn't have an obvious and straight-forward answer, they were paralyzed. They thrived in the black and white nature of science and math. They excelled when they knew exactly what the teacher wanted. But life isn't that clear-cut all the time. There are questions with tons of possible answers. There is almost always more than one option. So what happens then?

I know a guy who is an expert in his field. Recently he was fired. He was blindsided. Yet, those familiar with his situation weren't at all. He felt secure because he was 'the expert' but his people skills were abysmal. You don't call a corporate initiative 'stupid' while on the phone with the people who put the initiative together. You don't routinely snap at subordinates and superiors alike. You don't walk around with a perpetual scowl day-after-day and not expect consequences.

Book smarts are great, don't get me wrong. But they have to be tempered by a good old-fashioned dose of street smarts and business savvy. That is a winning combination.