Joyful Jubilant Learning

idea-guyI find it interesting that most home-based business folks I work with have a love of learning. It’s interesting, but not surprising. With all of the many hats that we have to wear, and all of the things we have to know, if you don’t have a love of learning, it makes it difficult to keep ahead.

I’m always excited to see new ideas regarding communities of learning and sharing. There seems to be a natural inclination among entrepreneurs and small business owners to want to contribute and share what they’ve learned.

I recently discovered a new community project called Joyful Jubilant Learning:

Welcome to Joyful Jubilant Learning, a content network where the Ho’ohana Community shares their passion for Lifelong Learning.

This site was inspired by an extraordinary experience of collaborative learning which transformed participants in unexpected ways. Join in to help us continue the momentum, spirit, and exploding possibilities.

Join in to “Learn with passion and purpose.”

It’s a new project and seems to have some great potential for like-minded folks to learn, share, explore, and grow. If it sounds interesting to you, check out the post on How Do YOU Get Involved in JJLN? to learn about what it is, and how you can get involved.

Are You Afraid of Your Competition?

pondering How do you think about others in your field or niche? Are they competitors or colleagues. A threat or a resource.

I had an interesting conversation the other day about home-based businesses and competition. It revolved around the way we view those with similar businesses or who work in our field. Too often others doing business in our field are seen as “the competition.” It’s important to consider how you view your peers – it can directly affect many areas of your business, including networking and referrals. Meaning you may stop getting them.

Many fields are cut-throat. Others are more cooperative by nature. How you choose to view your contemporaries can create a specific picture of you and your business.

For example, I know of a plumber who was very well respected and sought after. All of his business came by word of mouth. He kept a list of other plumbers whose work he respected to refer folks to when he got too busy. Some regarded this with suspicion, while most loved it and gladly returned the favor.

Wendy at eMoms at Home talks about her experience in blogging, but many fields are similar:

Competition is Really Coop-e-tition After enjoying a successful career in the cutthroat recruiting industry (actually, I really did enjoy it!!), coming into the blogging community has both surprised and astonished me at times.

… I didn’t expect it, and in hindsight, I’m not really sure why it surprised me so much. But I am honored to be a part of this community of the best and the brightest…

I’ve been snubbed myself by others who thought I was honing in on their business (Hey, what’s this guy after, anyway?). Usually I like to create a sort of partnership, by approaching peers and looking for ways we could be a resource to each other. Some may see this as a threat (boo!). While most think of it as a great way to help each other out. Fortunately it’s not too often that its the former. I’ve been lucky to form some great relationships in the fields I work in.

So think about how you want to be viewed by others in your field. I don’t think there is a right answer, only the answer that works for you. But if you’re afraid of losing business, then maybe you need to rethink your strategies, rather than looking at who might be “out to get you.” A win-win relationship can really boost a small business, and help you to gain a reputation as a contributor in your field.

One Honored, SOB

Successful and Outstanding BloggerA “Successful and Outstanding Blogger” that is. Liz Strauss of Successful Blog bestowed the honor, and I’m trilled by the recognition. Liz provides some terrific advice about blogging and writing, so her kudos is greatly appreciated.

Other blogs who have received the SOB badge – some big, some small – are all wonderful sites, contributing some really valuable stuff. So to be included in their ranks is a true honor.

Modeling Mashup: Your Template of Success

something-to-ponderME “Liz” Strauss has a regular event called “The Mic Is On!” featuring a topical conversation in the comments. It’s a cool idea, and though I wasn’t able to make it this week, the topic, “We’re Having Parallel Lives” got me thinking about how we can view our ideal selves.

The discussion surrounded who we might like to be in a parallel life or lives. People we find inspiring or interesting, doing things that we’d like to do, and living lives we find exciting.

Rather than just hero worship these types of visualizations can be productive. A technique called modeling, is a great way to create a shortcut to success by modeling the behavior of those already successful in the area you are focusing on. Though there are different views on the technique, I’ve found it to be very effective.

The term mashup describes mixing pieces of different songs, videos, or Web sites to make a new work.

So instead of parallel lives, what about creating a “Modeling Mashup” of our role models? Think of 5 to 10 people (real or fictional) you find to be living the “ideal” life. Those that embody your idea of success, or that represent an area of success for you. Then visualize a mashup of those models to get a sort of template of your ideal model. Do you want Trump’s money and business acumen, with Jobs’ flair, Branson’s sense of adventure, and Oprah’s compassion? Who exemplifies those qualities, or maybe just a single quality, you find important to have in your life? Here’s my current list:

  • Alton Brown – truly loves what he does, knowledgeable and funny (sort of the hipster of the culinary world).
  • Bill Amend – Foxtrot cartoonist – funny and a little bit geeky.
  • Charles Schulz – an extraordinary cartoonist and my first hero.
  • Dave Barry – one of the funniest people on the planet.
  • Heathcliff ‘Cliff’ Huxtable – the epitome of cool, funny, and loving dad.
  • Jeffrey Gitomer – sales guru with entertaining approach.
  • Malcolm Gladwell – incredible and prolific writer who sometimes ticks people off.
  • Peter Max – one of the greatest artists of all time.
  • Steve Jobs – creative and a great business mind.
  • Wayne Dyer – great speaker, big thinker, and loving father.

Think of your own success models and mix them together into the perfect representation of success. It’s a fun and creative way to help get an idea of what you consider to be the necessary ingredients for a successful and fulfilling life.

Happy mashing!

In Service of Others – Choosing from a Different Perspective

file-checkerYou want to work from home. That you know more clearly than anything you’ve ever known before. The only problem – what kind of work do you want to do? You’ve explored and quickly ruled out all the semi-legit “work-from-home-opportunities” that cover the internets like kudzu. Your neighbor’s kitchen gadgets franchise seems interesting (you love to cook) but everything you bought from one of her parties is broken in a drawer somewhere. You know your talents, your unique genius, and your values, but can’t seem to think of how to turn those into a business. One excellent way to help get to the answer is to stop thinking of what will make you happy, and start thinking of what you can do for others. To borrow from Kennedy’s well known speech, “ask not what you can do for you, but ask what you can do for others.”

Ask yourself this question several times a day:

“How can I best use my unique talents and gifts to be of service to others?” Then, listen for the answer. Once you let your ego know that this isn’t just about me, the unconscious part of you that wants to contribute something of value starts to speak up. Chances are, within a few day (if not a few hours) you’ll get some clear indications about the best path for you.

Dick Richards, the author of the fabulous book Is Your Genius At Work? (which I’ll be talking about more in an upcoming post) writes this in a recent post on Purpose:

…knowledge of purpose will arrive only after the demands of ego have been transcended enough to allow that knowledge to enter awareness.

By “ego” I mean that set of personal underlying programs that concern themselves only with their own survival and gain… Those programs drive out what is needed to seize and run with a purpose: courage, willingness, surrender, open-mindedness, and other-centeredness.

Turning the spotlight on how you can serve others allows the pressure of finding work that will make you happy to be released. Once you know how you can best provide value to others, using your gifts in a way that brings you fulfillment almost always follows.