Fret No More!

All of us feel overwhelmed at one time or another. We may even get angry at what we appear to be insurmountable tasks ahead of us. Sometimes we just keep putting them off altogether.

Their shear size overwhelms us.

Be overwhelmed no more. Here is a depressurizing strategy that will help you get that job done and make you will feel increasingly satisfied along the way. A colleague and business coach, James Maduk, told a story about a man who set out to eat an entire car. Really!

Why anyone would want to do that is beyond me. Nevertheless, that was what he wanted to do. But, how does someone eat a whole car. They do it the same way one eats an elephant: one bite at a time. The “bites” that eat away at major tasks we call “chunks.” Break any task into manageable chunks will get the job done in comparatively short order.

Suppose, for example, you wanted to do what I recently did. I completed my first mini-site to market my latest book. When I first found out what it would take to make a commercial mini-site, I was overwhelmed. Then, I asked myself, “What are the steps I must take to get the site up and running and start collecting money?” I started by making a list of all the steps required. Those steps that, themselves, were quite big, I broke down into smaller steps.

Each step was a chunk of the project. Each chunk I checked off brought me one step closer to the finished product. What is more, with each chunk I checked off there came a bonus. I began to feel more and more satisfied, proud of myself even, as I checked off each completed chunk. I could see the chunks falling one by one.

Before long—far less time than I imagined and found overwhelming at first—my first mini-site was ready for business. As I got a clear picture of the project and the steps required to completed—the many chunks and sub-chunks—I could see the job was, in fact, quite manageable. I relaxed, focused, and got to work.

One by one, I chunked my way to success. Now all I need is for my customers to chunk their way to my site! The point I’m making here is this: every task, no matter how big, is just a pile of chunks that need to be “eaten” before you move on to the next.

Chunk the tasks that seem to overwhelm and you, too, will be able to—well, eat a car, an elephant, or simply get the job ahead of you done. The bonus is, every chunk nourishes your soul, and your sense of accomplishment increases—every “chunk” of the way.

Chunk Your Way to a Joy-filled Life!

A Lesson In Economics

ecoFor the first time since WW I, the savings of North Americans is on the decline.

Credit card debt continues to rise. Why do so many people spend more than they should?

The main reason is they equate self-worth with material possessions: love me; love my stuff! Many people believe that more and better stuff, will make them more acceptable to others.

Look what I have; see how successful I am. Ironically, we would feel better about ourselves if, instead we were more financially secure. What, me worry? I have money in the bank! When it comes right down to it, would you like to be financially independent, perhaps even wealthy, or have more stuff?

The wise would choose financial security. Yet, no one can become financially secure, let alone rich, without practicing economy. Few financially prudent individuals ever become poor. Benjamin Franklin called economy the philosopher’s stone. “If you know how to spend less than you get,” he said, “you have the philosopher’s stone!” Franklin also said, “Let honesty and industry be thy constant companions, and spend one penny less than thy clear gains; then shall thy pocket begin to thrive, creditors will not insult, nor want oppress, nor hunger bite, nor nakedness freeze thee.”

The practical wisdom of Franklin has been of incalculable benefit to anyone wise enough to read and think on it. Thousand have made their fortunes on his sensible advice. Economy is half the battle of life. It is not as hard to earn money, as it is to keep it after you have earned it. Many people ruin themselves by purchasing things that are superfluous to their needs. Nothing is cheap which you do not need.

What you do not need is expensive at only a penny. Be careful to be an economist in prosperity. Then, you need never fear failing to be one in adversity. “Economy,” John Hawkesworth (1718-1773) observed, “is the parent of integrity, of liberty, and of ease; and the beauteous sister of temperance, of cheerfulness, and health; and profuseness is a cruel crafty demon, that gradually involves her followers in dependence and debts, and so fetters them with irons that enter into their inmost souls.” Only a few ever get rich through vast enterprises conducted with the sagacity of a Rockefeller, a Carnegie, or a Vanderbilt.

Most prosper only through the care and detail of thrift. Those whose habits are not frugal have set themselves on the road to financial ruin.

Many have yet to learn that the greatest source of revenue is financial prudence. Keep your everyday expenses to no more than half your income and, if you hope to get rich, never let them exceed a third. You would be surprised just how confident, secure, and good you will feel about yourself, with money in the bank.

Make Your Passion Your Business

bizpassionSeventy percent of all workers hate their jobs.

So says a recent Gallup poll. Job dissatisfaction leads to high absenteeism, employee turnover, and lost productivity.

Enjoying what you do can make the difference between merely getting by in business and excelling in it. The greatest satisfaction, and the highest income, accrues to those who pursue their passions. Here is how to find yours.

First, make a chronological list of several peak moments in your life. Begin by recalling a particularly happy time before you started school.

Then, note a peak experience that occurred during your elementary school years. The next could have happened while you were in high school.

Then, think of one when you were a young adult. You get the idea. Now, think back. What made these moments special to you? Was it the attention paid to you? Perhaps it was your feeling of accomplishment. Maybe it was the exhilaration of the experience itself. Whatever made each of these moments special then is what drives you now. That is what makes you perfectly suitable to do what you ought to be doing for your living. It is what makes you exceed even your own expectations.

Next, consider what you do well that others do not. Perhaps, you have a feel for what makes a great picture. Maybe you are a powerful encourager or team leader. On the other hand, you may be great with cars, or an expert sailor. What you do most effortlessly is also a signpost to your passion.

Finally, think about what you can create with your talent. For example, my friend, Barry Shainbaum, is an accomplished photographer who recently released his new book, Hope and Heroes.

Barry takes powerful pictures for which others gladly pay good money. Through his camera lens, Barry not only found his way out of bipolar disease, but also got to meet and photograph some of the most accomplished men and women of our time.

My wife, a people-oriented woman, has a passion for art. This talent she displayed early in life. During her many stays in hospital, in appreciation for their care, she draws caricatures of the staff, then, gives them the artwork. She has also sold many of her paintings and drawings as well. Art thieves so admired some of them, that they deftly removed all of her pieces from one collector’s home. An uncle had a passion for selling ideas. A visionary, he turned his passion into a career. First hired as a “copyboy,” he became Vice-President of Marketing for the largest retail chain in the Southern United States at that time, Maison Blanc in New Orleans, Louisiana.

You, too, have some special skill, interest–some “thing”–you can do better than anyone you know can do it. If you have not done so already, you can turn that talent into a service or product for which others will gladly pay you. Get a handle on your passion. What you cannot do well, give to others.

Do what you do best. Hire, or partner with, others who do what they do better than you can do it. Let everything else go. Focus like a laser-beam on your passion. You will love what you do and you will never work a day in your life!

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