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That’s How the Light Gets In (and out)

Robert Merton, who is credited with coining the phrase “self-fulfilling prophecy” said “The beginning of love is to let those we love be perfectly themselves.” Isn’t that how we all wish to be loved? Not perfectly as someone we are trying to be, not perfectly as an ideal, but perfectly as what WE were designed to be. Webster’s offers this definition of perfect - “being complete of its kind without defect or blemish.” Call me an idealist, but I do believe that each and every person is complete in their unique perfection and that personal perfection is something we allow in ourselves, not something we strive toward. Because we are all complete “of our kind” - there IS no one like us! I will bet that your mind went one of two places - you are either thinking of the people you wish could love you as perfectly YOURSELF or you are thinking of the people you love and asking yourself if you are loving them as perfectly THEMSELVES. But what about how you love yourself? Are you able to love yourself as the perfect being you ARE? Ah, I heard that. The little whisper that says “but I am NOT a perfect being, far from it.” In Leonard Cohen’s “Anthem” there is a line that says “Forget your perfect offering. There is a crack in everything - that’s how the light gets in.” Then there is the story told to me by friend, peace advocate and proponent of radical trust, Annette Karr, about an athlete who was diagnosed with cancer and had to have a leg amputated above...

A Classic Example of Go-Givers Sell More

In the two years I have been coaching and teaching the Five Laws of Stratospheric Success from The Go-Giver by Bob Burg and John David Mann the most common comment I hear is “that book made me cry, it is EXACTLY how I want to live and do business.” The next thing I usually hear is “I am ALREADY a Go-Giver but… I guess stratospheric success just takes time, huh?” No, it doesn’t just take time. It does, however, take more than giving. Here is what I DO know - being a giver is NOT the same as being a GO-GIVER and it won’t get the same results. There are Five Laws in what the character, Pindar, calls his “Trade Secret” because all five are equally important. I am going to use my friend and one of my heroes, Dafna Michaelson, as a classic example of the Five Laws in action. I’ve included some hints from my coaching program so you can follow her example and see what stratospheric success comes YOUR way! In 2008 Dafna, who has been in community service and non-profit work nearly all of her adult life, realized that where the government was not providing solutions to community problems there were individuals stepping up all over the country and working at the grass roots level to create solutions. She wanted to document these stories, get some recognition for the community problem solvers and, ultimately, figure out the common ground that would bring their efforts together to strengthen and support them. She left her job, cashed in her 401K - that’s right, all of it -...

Show Me the LOVE (and I’ll be your friend for life)

This post has been bubbling on my back burner for a while and Valentine’s Day seemed like an appropriate time to serve it up. It’s dedicated to everyone who has made me feel worthy of love - from the lady at the dry cleaners who always remembers my name even though I NEVER pronounce hers correctly to my clients and dearest friends, many of whom are one and the same people. I am grateful for the”perfect” version of myself you reflect back to me. I’m no expert on love. Believe me, I am as frequently and as completely baffled as any of you. I love to read ABOUT love - from Rumi to Edna St. Vincent Millay, I’ve read the poets’ interpretations of love. But I’d never really thought about how it related to business until I crafted a keynote for Yellow-Tie International’s Build Your Own Brand event with Bob Burg and Scott Ginsberg. One of the questions I posed in that presentation was “what brings people back for more of YOU?” Not more of your services or products but more of YOU. Without exception, the answer lies in how you made them feel about themselves, not in how you made them feel about you. Did you make them feel smart, appreciated, beautiful, welcome, validated? In short, did you make them love themselves a little more than they did before they engaged with you? Do you help people fall in love with themselves? Because anyone who loves themselves even a little more because of spending time with you, doing business with you, having a conversation with you - that...