Vision Board

Candles and Kindness: Kerri’s Birthday Giving Mission!

My friend Kerri Sellers is a Goddess.

No, this does not mean she is a celestial being with a mailing address somewhere on Mount Olympus.

I’m pretty sure she lives in Massachusetts.

Being a Goddess is actually part of her job title.

Kerri is part of the amazing team of women (Goddesses) and men (Adoni) who populate the Athena’s Home Novelties company, a group of people with HUGE hearts based in America’s tiny state of Rhode Island (led by an amazing force for good, Mother Goddess Jennifer Jolicouer).

They just happen to be my BIGGEST speaking client (every January I lead my “Engaging Your WHY/Vision Board” event for their entire team, nationwide).

For her recent 45th birthday, Kerri opened her heart, and her social media pages (at the urging of her equally-awesome husband Aaron), to create a TIDAL WAVE of kindness, generosity and joy.

She called it #Kerris45Wishes…and it was amazing.

Far from making it all about herself, Kerri spent the day not only committing acts of kindness, but encouraging others to please do so…and post them on her social media pages.

Ideas were flying fast and furious, and I was tremendously honored that she tagged me with an idea I’d given her (which I learned from a grocery checkout clerk): putting quarters on gumball machines as a surprise for kids!

She also left quarters on the pony ride outside the store, and a small baggie of them at the laundromat, just in case someone needed a little extra drying time.

Here’s the most beautiful part of her birthday giving mission: friends and family all across the country were going out and intentionally sharing kindness on her behalf, tagging their posts with #Kerris45Wishes.

It was mind-blowing. It was joyful. And it was very, very REAL.

So many people see things like this happening and are so quick to say: “Kindness should be done anonymously and what she is doing is bragging, and it’s wrong.”

Here’s my view on that response.

The news and media outlets spend most of their days (and ours) sharing stories of the WORST that society has to offer.

I wish they would keep THAT to themselves.

I think it is helpful (and hopeful) to hear the GOOD THINGS that are happening in our communities which are JUST AS REAL as the bad.

Now, when people do these things and trumpet them in the news as a political ploy or to overcome something stupid scandal they caused, just to rebuild their reputations…that is different.

What Kerri did with her birthday was wave her kindness flag high and let it snap in the wind loudly enough for people to hear the battle-cry and take part in the celebration.

I read through many of the posts on her page, people sharing what she had inspired them to do.

They included:

  • a donation to the Red Sox Foundations’s Jimmy Fund
  • adding children’s books to a ‘Little Free Library’
  • giving a ride to someone who needed one
  • buying sidewalk chalk for a favorite neighborhood kid
  • posting a beautiful sunset photo to make a friend smile
  • paying for the lunch of a stranger

So, what simple act of kindness could YOU commit today?

If you really have it in your heart to do so, you can find a way…even ones that cost absolutely nothing (hold a door, call a friend to say hello, make someone smile).

Here’s how I see it: somewhere in the world today, it is somebody’s birthday.

Following Kerri’s lead, we can all commit a little kindness to honor those people.

Remember: the GOOD is just as real as the BAD.

Let’s make the GOOD noise even louder, shall we?

Thank you Kerri!

BONUS VIDEO: Are YOU ‘Priming the Pump’ for kindness, like Kerri is?
CLICK HERE to view.  

Are You and Your Team CLICKin’ Butt in 2016?

It happened almost instantly.

Even before I arrived home at midnight last Wednesday, I’d already been tagged more times that the slowest-running kid in gym class.

The event was my FOURTH ANNUAL trek to Woonsocket, Rhode Island for the January kickoff meeting at Athena’s Home Novelties, sharing my “Engaging Your WHY / Vision Board Success” presentation.

I love this company.

There is something pretty amazing about them.

In 2012, Gallup did a study on ‘engagement in the workplace’ gathering data from 142 countries*.

Please remember these numbers: 13-63-24.

No, these are not the body measurements of an oddly-shaped human.

They are statistics, and they scare me…a lot.

Here’s why, in basic terms:

13% of workers were found to be ‘psychologically committed to their jobs and likely to be making positive contributions to their organizations’.

63% are ‘not engaged, meaning they lack motivation and are less likely to invest discretionary effort in organizational goals or outcomes’.

24% are actively disengaged,” indicating they are unhappy and unproductive at work and liable to spread negativity to coworkers.

Do these numbers scare YOU…or do they sound familiar?

Essentially, there are almost TWICE as many people in the average workplace who are ACTIVELY CREATING NEGATIVITY as there are being ACTIVELY POSITIVE.

That’s the part that scares the heck out of me.

The middle 63% are essentially trading their time for a paycheck which, to me, is neither good nor bad.

I bet if I asked my speaking client audiences where they see themselves, only a few would admit to being part of that 24%…and those are the people who take great pride in being so negative. I have witnessed people who practically brag about being grumpy, rationalizing that they are ‘keeping it real’.

In my opinion, you can ‘keep it real’ without intentionally creating a Flint Michigan wellspring of foulness.

Why do I love my friends at Athena’s Home Novelties?

Because I believe they make those results do a headstand.

I bet there are easily at least twice as many ENGAGED team members as DISENGAGED.

Rarely, and I mean RARELY…do I encounter a company like this.

At every level, straight from the top with SHE-E-O Jennifer Jolicouer, there is joy, passion, encouragement, caring and endlessly awesome cheerleading.

One of the centerpiece stories of my live presentations is the comparison of business and life goals to an old wooden roller coaster.

Quick question to you, the reader: “Have you ever set a goal which scared the heck out of you the next day…when you realize you said it out loud in front others?

(I am pausing as I raise both of MY hands)

Goals SHOULD be big. They should challenge us to go beyond our current skill set.

I encourage my clients to imagine their goals (as a company and individuals which strengthens BOTH) at the top of the first hill of a roller coaster.

Step 1: Gather the BEST people available for your ride (who will enjoy it and be excited with ZERO complaining about how scary it is, or how sick they are going to get).

Step 2: Make sure you consistently, with intention, take small steps toward your goal EVERY day.

Step 3: When you achieve it, celebrate and enjoy the rewards…then get back on the ride for your next goal.

As I draw each year’s Vision Board event to a close, I remind the Athena’s team members (referred to as Goddesses and Adoni) to tag me on social media EVERY time they accomplish one of their goals, and include the word ‘CLICK’.

Rarely does one otherwise insignificant 5-letter word (only worth about 13 points in Scrabble) bring me so much joy. Here is a piece I created for one of the Goddesses based upon a goals she set for her self, which includes the phrase ‘CLICK baby CLICK’, created by my dear friend (and marketing queen) Alyson Bruu.

CLICKINGMyWayto200Ksmall

In the 5 days since this year’s Vision Board event, I have already been tagged and CLICKed to share:

  • A Goddess who celebrated her first paycheck from the company, then helped two other Goddesses host THEIR parties!
  • A Goddess who bought the new car she needed to operate her business, knowing she will work hard enough to pay for it!
  • Words shared to their Vision Boards based upon my stories at the event!
  • A Goddess who created an AMAZING visual to ‘create’ her goal of surprising her kids with a Disney vacation for Christmas.

And the CLICKs just keep on coming.

Is YOUR work team rocking like the Goddesses?

Do you celebrate the small achievements that build up Success Muscles and momentum?

Do your ‘leaders’ encourage their team members to work together, sharing the greatest qualities of the Goddesses, to keep that roller coaster CLICKing toward the top of that first hill?

I could not be more proud of my friends at Athena’s, and I am honored that I am invited to be with them year after year, asking them to define and visualize the top of that first hill.

Is your team enjoying a ride like this, staying actively engaged to create success?

The roller coaster is a pretty cool ride…and I know my Goddess friends are already CLICKin’ butt for 2016!

It’s never too late to get on the ride.

I’m here if you need me.

Keep your arms and legs inside the ride…and get ready to rock.

* http://www.gallup.com/poll/165269/worldwide-employees-engaged-work.aspx

Partly Grainy With a Chance of Splinters!

 As I gear up for the long-awaited (we’re talking lonnnnnng) release of my “Engaging Your WHY / Success Vision” program, I’ve been strategically renovating the recording studio gearing up for a series of webinars to not only launch the product, but also educate and coach my attendees.

First off, I need to thank (from the bottom of my heart) my friends Jon Schumacher and Michael Bloom from ‘Hangouts That Convert’. In a world filled with schemers who trumpet the “latest and greatest get it before midnight tonight batteries not included but wait there’s more!” types of offers…these guys are THE REAL DEAL.

Their educational programs have been top-notch. I’ve got several dozen pages of notes which I’ve painstakingly put into practice over the past few months.

Last week I had a test-run webinar with my good friend and fellow speaker Laurie-Ann.

As soon as we were connected, I discovered that my laptop’s internal camera wasn’t quite up to snuff.

“You look fine but the background’s really grainy…what is it?”

About a month ago, I invested $70 in rough-sawn pine barn board for one wall of my recording studio.

I don’t mind if it looks knotty…but grainy is bad.

SteveWoodWall

The next day I ordered a new HD webcam, the one recommended by Jon and Michael.

It wasn’t super-expensive. Note to my accountant: we bought a new webcam…see you at tax-time!

Today I did another test-drive…getting there!

The one concern I do have is with the wood on the wall behind me.

As it was assembled in the middle of a hot and humid stretch of Summer, the humidity levels were sky-high. In those conditions, we jammed the wood together tightly with very little nailing beyond the guide-boards at the bottom of the wall.

Now the weather is chilling out a bit and the wood has shrunk slightly. Before today’s test run, I spied a couple of loose boards which needed to be pushed back so they wouldn’t fall.

Yeah, that’s all I need: to be bonked off the noggin in the middle of a webinar!

First order of business when I get to the studio tomorrow: secure the wall.

Are YOU taking the time to assess your environment on a regular basis?

Are you aware of things that could go wrong, impeding your progress toward success?

How can you take an extra moment to keep a clear view and ensure the sky is NOT falling…ready to hit you on the head?