Let Difficult People Win

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If you’ve ever  been around someone who talks too much or is incredibly stubborn or worse, loves to argue then you know how difficult life can be if you have to deal with them on a regular basis.  Whether they’re controlling, critical, or just plain ol’ cranky, the behaviors that make someone a difficult person tend to spark frequent confrontations—and it is highly unlikely to influence these people.  Let’s face it, they’re set in their ways and nothing you do or say will get them to change their mind.  If you find yourself wrestling with them to get a word in edgewise, it’s time to quit. If  you struggle to change their mind about anything, stop it.

Even if you can outwit them or have enough material with a barrage of new points and counterpoints into the arguments, it’s time to let it go. Stop trying and simply move on because at the end of exchange, the difficult person remains the same. But you’ve spent an un-godly amount of energy spinning and spent only to find yourself in a weaker position.  When I learned to let go of my desire to ‘win’ by imposing my will on the other person I was able to improve communication with difficult people.

When you find yourself with no choice but to interact with a difficult person, implement what I call  the “Lolly” —short for lolly dolly– simply lolly through the encounter by having modest expectations, and remain focused on the end result.  It’s really all you can do. Otherwise, you’ll get yourself all worked up for nothing.  Let them “win” the argument.  It’s a sign of your strength. Plus, we have better things to do with our lives.

Source: Stop Talking, Start Communicating: Counter-intuitive Secrets to Success in Business and in Life by Geoffrey Tumlin

Find Success Through Failure

Am I perfect? Heck no. Let’s face it, we all mess up from time to time. But here’s how to do wrong things the right way.

Winston Churchill famously said success is defined by the ability “to go from failure to failure without loss of enthusiasm.”  The world’s most interesting entrepreneurs certainly lived that reality. “If we’re not making mistakes, we’re probably not growing,” said Bo Menkiti, founder and CEO of The Menkiti Group and CEO and founding partner of the city’s fastest growing residential real estate brokerage.

“As an entrepreneur you’re going to make a mistake,” agreed Joel Holland, founder and CEO of Video Blocks, a subscription-based stock footage firm. “You can either let it crush you or motivate you.”  Recently, Menkiti, Holland, and Naomi Whittel, the CEO and founder of natural supplements company, Reserveage Organics, revealed their best mistakes to Inc. during an event held in Washington D.C., sponsored by Capital One.

How do you separate the good mistakes–like, say, intentionally misspelling a word in a headline to garner attention–from the bad ones? And if you’re going to make mistakes, what kind should you make?

The kind that inspire you

When Whittel went to sell her first company, she thought she’d done everything right. She hired a business broker, courted suitors, and settled on a family company with an 80-year business history. She developed a relationship with the company’s head, even visiting him at home before closing the deal.

The only problem, she said, was that the buyer turned out to be “a very sophisticated con artist.” After he’d gained her trust, he convinced her at the last minute to restructure the deal. The change left her holding stock that was essentially worthless.

Whittel went to court over the matter, but in the meantime, she said her husband convinced her to “frame the stock certificate” as inspiration. It worked. When she launched Reserveage Organics, she used her bad experience as motivation to grow big fast and keep control. The result? She reached $70 million in sales in her second year and was named Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year in Florida.

The kind that reveal new opportunities

Holland was always an entrepreneur, dating back to when he collected and sold used golf balls as a kid. But he said an early mistake he made in trying to launch a business offering “life advice to teenagers” led to a realization.

Holland did a great job of rounding up celebrities and respected people for videos in which they’d offer inspiration and advice. The problem was that the resulting videos he produced were kind of “boring,” he said, and lacking quick edits or fun graphics. “It was like Charlie Rose for teenagers,” Holland admitted.

That realization led Holland to discover how few options there were for people who wanted to make videos with stock footage and better production. Eventually, he founded Video Blocks, distributors of 1,000,000 clips of royalty free stock video and audio every month (and one of Inc.’s 30-under-30 young entrepreneurs this year).

The ones other people make

This one is easy, but also easily overlooked. Why not gain the benefit of other people’s missteps without actually having to go through the painful experiences yourself?

At the start of his businesses, Menkiti said he experienced six months of missteps, which he attributed in retrospect to having recruited some of the wrong people. Even as he corrected his strategy and focused on building a team that was committed to his vision, he recognized it might make more sense to learn more consciously from other peoples’ efforts.

Now he seeks out “people a little bit ahead of me, and I learn from their their mistakes,” Menkiti said, in part by constantly reaching out to new mentors. “Most entrepreneurs are extremely curious and probably really lonely,” and thus willing to share their time and expertise, he said. “Call them!”

Source: http://www.inc.com/bill-murphy-jr/how-to-make-the-best-misteaks.html

MBA to Singer: Living Your Dreams

Ever feel like something is not quite right? Like something is missing? Even if you have the perfect job with good pay, good friends, but still feel like…hmmm, something is missing from your life. I’ve been trying to settle into a nice comfortable routine but this missing thing won’t leave me alone. If you ever get that same nagging feeling…pay attention. It may be your dream, your calling, your destiny. And although everything in your life is going smoothly, it is hard not to listen to the voice that tells you that something could have been different.

woman silhouette singing 5

That was me a few years ago. I was under the spell of everything is fine…BUT.  Yes, the big but was looming and present and annoying at times. And while I may not appear to need for anything, there is always that sinking feeling that I am not where I need to be.  My parents always told me to go after my dreams, or simply, to do what I want. I went to business school to further my career in the corporate world. However, I admit that I have not always been honest with myself because I wanted to sing. Then there was the whole thing with being diagnosed with VCD (Vocal Chord Dysfunction). Damn.

 

woman silhouette singing 6Singing has always been a part of me. Almost every memory I have of having fun with my family and friends have to do with us singing together or going to those karaoke places. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the first thing that I ever memorized, even before I began going to school, was a simple song. I was too young to understand the lyrics and the meaning of the song, but the music and the rhythm moved me to sing. These childhood dreams were shot down because I had to put the needs of my family first. So, a career in singing wasn’t a part of it. Starving artists can make it on their own. Not with a family in tote. So even if I wanted to sing, I knew that it would not be a practical choice. Besides, I severely doubted my own talent back then…

studio-1

Now however, being stable and being able to do the things that I want, I know that it is the right time to pursue that dream. I have approached a professional voice coach that was recommended by a friend of mine, and I could say that I am enjoying myself.  Even if I am not the perfect student and my teacher says that I still have a lot of training to do, the simple fact that I am able to sing has given me a new kind of freedom and a new high that I have never experienced in my professional career.

I have met new friends in my new pursuit of happiness; I have felt new highs, even experienced new levels of excitement and a sense of fulfillment.  I am not there yet, but I know that I am on the path to where I was always meant to be. Life can be unexpected. We have to live with whatever it throws us, but it does not mean that we can’t hit back. Just like the successful show host Jon Stewart who went on a break from his top-rated show so that he could work on his dream of being a producer, I believe that dreams never die; unless we let them.

sources for information about VCD: http://www.nationaljewish.org/healthinfo/conditions/vcd/

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/head_neck/patients/voice_center/vocal_cord_dysfunction.aspx

http://www.aaaai.org/conditions-and-treatments/related-conditions/vocal-cord-dysfunction.aspx