Clarity Lessons From a Hedgehog

Clarity Lessons From a Hedgehog

In less than two weeks, the clock will strike midnight ushering in a New Year – a transformation that is typically accompanied by revelry and proclamations of resolutions and big, bold, goals. As I was thinking about the New Year, I thought of a hedgehog. Weird, right? However these spiny mammals can actually teach you and me a thing or two about how to prepare for success. Hedgehogs are known for their peculiar approach to foraging. They are also known for how they protect themselves when threatened: they roll into a tight ball. Setting aside the motive for why they do it, in an odd way, it is this practice of rolling into a tight ball — of going inside — that can help you when it comes to something that I believe is critical for sustainable success: having clarity. Are you clear about what you want? Are you clear about what you want to be different next year? Are you clear about what you want to change; how about what you want to stay the same? Are you clear about the deepest desires of your heart? How do you define clarity? What do you stand for; what are you willing to do (or what won’t you do) to make whatever you stand for happen? What do you value? What are your priorities? What are your goals? Do you feel so stuck that clarity seems like a luxury, rather than an absolute necessity? Clarity…the new sexy? I ask these questions because these (or variations thereof) are questions I’ve been pondering as I get ready to kick start 2013. And...
Financial Success: Are You Looking For It In All The Wrong Places?

Financial Success: Are You Looking For It In All The Wrong Places?

You know how when someone nearby yawns, you usually end up yawning as well? This unconscious tendency is called “contagious yawning.” Sometimes, a similar phenomenon occurs in the realm of ideas. As serendipity would have it, on the same day last week two of my favorite bloggers – Stephanie Pollock and Chris Brogan – wrote about something you and I work toward almost every day: Success. While reading their posts, I immediately drew a correlation between financial success and their message of business success. But what also came to mind is something I believe we rarely consider: The price we pay when we chase someone else’s indicators of success. You may say, “I don’t do that!” Actually, you do. You pay a price when you occasionally look for success in all the wrong places. This happens each time you compare your success (financial or otherwise) to another person or business. Whenever you and I travel down the rabbit-hole of comparison, it is usually a straight line to disappointment and dissatisfaction. And, it is proof we have lost sight of our own definition of success, what it means to us, and why what we are aiming for is important. Further, it is evidence that we are valuing another person’s story above our own. Aside from the act of comparing being a never-winning battle (with you on the losing end), the other problem with pegging your success to another person’s (or business) is that what you “see” – aka their results – is just one part of their story.  Plus, when you are in comparison mode you tend to supplant your...

The Root of It All

After more than a year of planning, it happened…the Financial Intimacy Conference launched this past week in New York City! It was a tremendous success and more satisfying than I could have imagined. Three days later, I remain delirious with excitement — and from exhaustion! In forthcoming posts, I’ll share some of the surprising lessons I learned from producing and curating a project of this scale, such as the “vision within the vision” and related to that “the difference between impact and vision.” But there’s one lesson I am just itching to share right now: My deepening awareness that what contributes most to one’s success and satisfaction is invisible to others. Manisha Thakor, one of the speakers on the 2011-2012 Financial Intimacy Conference tour, reminded me of this via an analogy she shared regarding a tree. She described the role of the tree’s trunk, leaves, and roots as it relates to our relationship with money and how we are undergoing a shift from focusing on the trunks and leaves (what you can see) to the roots (what you cannot). Her story further reminded me of a book I’ve re-read several times by Joel Goldsmith, “Invisible Supply.” (Continued...

Are You “Super Rich”?

I think the Universe is trying to get my attention, and perhaps through me, it’s trying to get yours as well. Last week, I attended an event sponsored by Morgan Stanley Smith Barney. It was part of the firm’s “Open Talk” series and featured Harold Ford, Jr. interviewing Russell Simmons. As I described to a friend soon after, it was a no-hold bars conversation; Russell’s transparency and candor were refreshing, funny, and for some in the audience of approximately 400, I would suspect, shocking. I am on Marie Forleo’s “Rich, Hot, and Happy” mailing list. This week’s video message about one of her non-negotiables ironically (?) contained the same message as is in Russell’s book, “Super Rich” – which I’ve been reading since the event. What do Russell Simmons and Marie Forleo have in common? (Continue...

A Detour to Success

In 2008, like millions of other people, two of my dear friends, whom we’ll call Tracey and Mitch, were unemployed. Two years ago, they each took jobs that at the time seemed “off-course” – that seemed like the proverbial “two steps back.” Tracey stayed within her area of discipline, but changed industries. The result: a relocation and $100,000 drop in salary. Mitch stayed within his industry, but changed his area of focus. The result: he could now work from home, but he gave up a six-figure salary. Tracey and Mitch took their respective jobs, in 2009, because they needed a job. I don’t believe they viewed the job they assumed back then – at the height of our economic crisis – as their “dream” job. Nonetheless, they stepped into their new jobs and did what they are known to do: They, as usual, worked hard; they were politically strategic; they were focused, disciplined, and determined; they managed using the 360 degree paradigm. These plus a plethora of other factors, like being humble, committed, and flexible, having the “right” ambassadors, and keeping their eye on the prize, to name a few, led to the wonderful news they shared with me last week. Mitch got a promotion and is now a regional director responsible for a large sales force. And, he is back to earning a six-figure salary. Tracey was promoted to executive vice president by her organization’s president and chief executive officer. She is now managing a team of nearly 3,000 and got a $100,000 raise (yes, you read that correctly!). (Continue...