Saturday, January 17, 2009

Your Story

What’s your story? Your story includes your successes, challenges, credentials, and the people who helped you along the way. Your mentors, partners, and heroes helped shape your path, and your family, culture, and environment were a springboard for your career. Whether you feel like you took a bungee jump off of a cliff or a gentle climb through a bed of roses, your environment gave you challenges and opportunities that helped you build the character and resilience for finding where your dreams can lead you.

This month in the LifeWork Planning Guides we will develop a Personal Summary. Your Personal Summary is the first step in your LifeWork Success Plan. Your Personal Summary will give you a good start on your personal/career portfolio or the executive summary for your business plan.

Share your comments. I will review and post them to the blog or send questions or comments directly to me:

Monday, January 05, 2009

Not business as usual

It may not be business as usual this year, but it's a new year with new hope and so much work to be done. It's a great time to start using up things that have been gathering dust in the cupboards and closets. Many of us have been buying in bulk, shopping sales for things we didn't need, and consuming treats as if they were an everyday necessity. 

We hear in the media that some people are having to think about their credit card spending, their $5.00 coffee habit, and cut back on vacations. It may not be a tragedy to put reckless spending on the back burner for a time. It is a good time to make our dollars count. How we spend money is at least as important as how we vote. With small businesses suffering and many going out of business, now is the time to think about how you want to shop and what options you want available to you. 

There are businesses that have unhealthy business practices that can't stand up to an economic downturn, but we may also be losing products and services that we value. Low price is not always the best value, and if we always shop price rather than valuing healthy, well made products, and good customer service, we may lose the best values. 

Where you spend your money also gives you a clue to where the jobs will be. If you shop big box stores then you or a family member may be working at one. If your dream is to own a small business, then you will want to support small businesses in your area. 

Most of us are finding ways to cut back on spending this year. Many of them are positive. Walking or riding a bike instead of driving, playing games with friends and family rather than going out, fixing healthy meals instead of takeout can all be positive changes. For those who have lost both family incomes, their businesses, or their homes, this year can feel like a tragedy. If you have friends, family, credit, and skills, you will have to make tough choices but but you have a support system to work with. Tough times can bring out your resourcefulness, relationship skills, and build personal resilience. There are people who have no one. When jobs are scarce they have nowhere to turn except to the hearts of those who have a clue what it is like to be touched by difficult times. 

For some, this year seems so bad because they had so much wealth and expectation of continuous monetary growth. But the economy goes in cycles and corrects itself every few years. The current crisis is a reminder that we need to take care of our money and as the saying goes, "prepare for a rainy day." As we clean out our closets and use up the old we will be prepared for a sunny spring.