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Powerless?

MONDAY BYTES — May 11, 2015

When you consider your career and opportunities in life, where do you see that power resides? Who has the power?It’s all too easy to see the gatekeepers, or “higher ups” as powerful — the competition judges, the grant selection or search committee, to the boss who can give raises or promotion, and decide who gets invited to the interview.

It’s easy to see others as the ones with all the power, the ones who determine what we can ultimately achieve.

And it’s true, we don’t control the outcome when someone else picks who gets hired.

But we all have more power than we realize—or more than many of us are willing to accept.

Ultimately, we have the power to determine how we invest our time and energy. We have the power to influence others, build our skills, reputations, and networks. We have the power to determine our own projects, perspective, and behavior, and consequently our circumstances, prospects, and futures.

If we accept that we have this power then we need to accept the responsibility that comes with it. When we exercise our power we pick ourselves.

There’s an energy that comes with taking action—even when we’re afraid—with action we honor our own power. Getting started boosts our energy and confidence levels.

This week: Knowing that you have the power to choose how to use your energy and time for at least a certain number of hours every day this week, what will you make happen?

What have you been avoiding starting or unconsciously waiting for permission or the perfect time to start? This week is the perfect time to, as Seth Godin reminds us, Pick Yourself.

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.

Change Agency

MONDAY BYTES — May 4, 2015

I’m fascinated by the change process: what helps and hinders people to actually make a change in their lives — in their behavior, lifestyle, career, or habits.I’m curious to learn what keeps people from making the changes they want to make. And conversely, what is it that helps them to make any change?Question: What is it for you?

Quote for the week: “What if you wake up some day, and you’re 65… and you were just so strung out on perfectionism and people-pleasing that you forgot to have a big juicy creative life?” – author Anne Lamott (in the photo above)

More from Anne Lamott on the perils of perfectionism.

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.

Six Seth Questions

MONDAY BYTES — April 27, 2015

As an admitted Seth Godin junky, I wanted to share a terrific set of 6 questions Seth includes as part of his excellent freelancers’ course offered through Udemy. [If you are interested, you can still get a great discount until April 30!]

These are questions designed to get you to assess your project and career goals. Try these on:

“What do you want to do? (Not your job, but your work, now, tomorrow, and in the future)

Who do you want to change, and how do you want to change them? 

[This question is often problematic for performers because we don't often think about our audience or what they actually get from our performances. We don't consider the power of music or what is it we actually intend to communicate through our music. But by thinking this through fully we can clarify our commitment and strengthen our ability to connect with audiences in performances.]How much risk? (from 1 [a little] to 10 [bet everything]), how much are you willing to put at stake to make the change you seek?

[The risk of course may be financial but also involve your reputation, your time, relationships, etc. There's the opportunity cost—by investing time with this project you will need to put other projects on the back burner and need to say "no" to leads that are distractions from your intended focus. Be realistic.]

How much work are you willing to do to get there? Be specific about the tradeoffs.

[Many people aren't willing to do what is actually takes to book and promote their own tours or raise the funds for their next album. Don't underestimate the work that's needed; be honest with yourself about the trade-offs and your willingness to do the work.]

Does this project matter enough for the risk and the effort you’re putting into it?

Is it possible — has anyone with your resources ever pulled off anything like this?”

[Feasibility can be tough to determine. That's why it can help to consult with mentors or trusted professionals and get a frank assessment about your project goals. What you have in mind may indeed be possible but it may take longer and demand more resources than you imagine. And often makes sense to launch a beta version of your project to mitigate risk and learn as you go.]

This week: take a few moments and write out the answers to these questions to help you gain clarity about your work and life goals.

For info on working with me: details are HERE.

Monday Bytes archived posts are HERE.