Leveraging Learning to jump start your business

“If you are not learning, you are dying”.

As a business owner continuously refining your business by constantly learning is an integral part of sustaining long term viability. Within business nothing stays the same for long, so relying on past wins as a game plan builds in boobie traps to your foundation that can quickly take you under.  Markets change, audiences change and competition changes and that is a guarantee.  Preparation to avoid the pitfalls of this ever changing market should also be a guarantee as you plot your own path to success.  Investing in learning and growth can ensure your company is responsive to these changing environments, instead of reacting to problems and obstacles the unknown future almost certainly holds in its cards.

A focus on continual learning in your professional life doesn’t have to be as defined as a commitment to go back for a degree or a formal certificate program. If you can assess, research, and pull together others adding to your professional education can be as simple as 1, 2, 3:

Access: This requires an honest assessment of where you are in skills and knowledge. If you are able to do this or poll respected colleagues or co-workers for their opinion you will be able to start first with where you are to determine where you want to go.   This understanding is key as it gives you the focus not to just reach out for general information but to sort through the learning environment for what specifically can apply to advance your business.

Research: I think general seminars and books are a great start to keep you motivated as well as give you a general sense of up to date information. These sources have already been cultivated to deliver a specific message and the research and sources are on point with current issues.  For me seeing the Black Enterprise Entrepreneur Summit I quickly reviewed the agenda and signed on.  It is not just a quick opportunity to cover lapses in knowledge that I am aware of, but also to learn something from issues that may not have been on my radar in my normal practice of expecting the best but preparing for the worst I my business.

Pulling together others: An additional resource you can pull from educational seminars is knowledge from your peers that can ultimately be invaluable. Making connections with a range of people, some who may have a similar mission and others whose goals are diverse give you a broad awareness of issues that can impact your business and a heads up on key areas of improvement.  An educational seminar pulls together people who at least have a base of pushing for common information and this base can be a spring board to shared interest and later collaborations.  Next time you are at a seminar or luncheon really put on your listening hat for the knowledge just immediately around you.  When your mind is open you will always be surprised what new you can learn.

Learning how to not be the emotional band aid in your relationship

DonazioneRelationships with a damaged person can feel like a constant process of fix it as a way to keep someone else above water.  Often once we are in it the situation, it becomes one of dread, but when we are honest with ourselves we saw trouble coming from a mile away and still invited ourselves in.  We see the baggage, the damage from the ex or their family or just their own self-image and instead of turning around and running or encouraging them to jump start their own improvement, we hop feet first in to a mess feeling like the world’s best handyman up for the challenge of a rundown house.  So what is it that makes us believe that we can be the band aid to someone else’s problems and come out on top in a successful relationship?

There are a lot of band aids we can try to apply to stop the bleeding of a damaged person.  Once you care and you want to help you get involved in a deeply personal process that really must come from that person’s own desire.  Nonetheless we get sucked into the wormhole by either overestimating ourselves and our ability to fix them or underestimating the problems that the person is dealing with and the ease in which it can be solved.  I have often fallen in the overestimation trap as I believed that the damage others have done can be healed just by me showing them the opposite.  If they dealt with a gold digger I have tried to show myself to be self-sufficient with their money not being my motivation.  When they have trust issues I have tried to go above and beyond to prove myself worth and true to my word.  The opposite is just as dangerous, by looking at their tangled personal life or personal image as something that is a quick fix.  Armed with a motto of self-reliance you start on the path of you can do it and you can fix it before even really honestly looking at the problem and listening to what their game plan is for the approach.  Either way the result is you putting in work on a problem that really is not yours to solve.  Chances are it does little to improve that person’s situation because their perspective on people, including you, is a key piece of the puzzle.

Regardless of if you are overestimating or underestimating, the result can put you too close to your band aid application to realize that the small sore you are trying to treat only covers a much bigger internal problem.  Perhaps something about the damage in others makes us feel a little better about the bumps and bruises that we all experience along the way.  If we came out on top our ego whispers others can too just by doing what we did.  The vision loses sight of the truth that everyone is different, and likewise so are their problems and solutions to those problems.  At a point true healing has to come from the inside and be self-directed.  Healing isn’t a magic show where you can waive a wand and instantly someone is better.  They have to be invested in their own growth and healing first and foremost.  Without that they will treat the most trust worthy person with constant suspicion and take someone’s adoration as a trick of the mind.

cuore reduceNo matter how big the impulse is the truth is everyone has to take out their own trash or the end up sealing their fate as the “bag lady”.  Stuck in their own prison of mistrust and self-doubt.  Yes once you have been burned you should learn a lesson, but really learning a lesson involves applying it, not just using it as a giant shield that misses out on good things coming your way or as a scape goat for everything that could be wrong.  Relationships work best when not just both parties are working at it but also when both parties are working on and commitment to their own improvement and growth.  Without understanding and accepting this you can end up in a relationship that ultimately damages you as much as the other damaged party through your attempt to play nurse in their life without being a doctor in your own.

An Intimate Evening with Oprah at the Life You Want Weekend

Live The Life You Want Weekend, MiamiSpending an evening chatting with Oprah??? Sounds too incredible to be true but indeed at the Life You Want Weekend you walk away from the first night feeling as if you had an intimate evening learning about someone whose journey has taken her from Mississippi to becoming a household name. Oprah has the uncanny ability of being able to share her spirit and story in a way that you can not only relate to but can see yourself in.  The first night of the show put this ability on shine as she shared not just her story but some of her critical lessons and her spiritual anchors that have allowed her to handle her blessings and tribulations with grace and strength.

From the lighted bracelets to the fun music the evening starting off with building a strong sense of community. Whether you came with friends or by yourself the energy in the building made you want to reach out and touch someone for the better.  As the introductions began the dim lights and bracelets began the audience on a journey of surprises as well as awakenings.  As the bracelet lights took us from red to orange to yellow you began on a path that could lead you anywhere but also with the hope that it could lead you to everywhere you wanted to go.  As Oprah began sharing I was immediately struck not by the amazing way she was able to share her story, but the ease that her story telling leads you to see yourself in the story.  Although her story is her own I began to see where I could grow and I could change and most importantly that if a small black girl from the country of Mississippi could have the courage to reach for her dreams and become OPRAH than why couldn’t I also let the small voices of God and fate lead me to my destiny.

While there were many awesome life lessons shared throughout the night the two that provided the most impact to me where these:

I am the master of my fate and the captain of my soul

For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction

These two very simple truths of life have the power and shape and mode anyone’s life into the life they want as they become more aware of themselves and God and the world and their own power in it to become a better version of the person they already are. Although I believe those truths before hitting the door there is nothing like hearing it from Oprah to give you an extra push from belief to faith and walking the walk to implement those truths in how you think and how you act.  With that just being the tip of the iceberg on the journey I am excited for more in Day 2!