The big thing I am standing up against this year is dogma; the idea that you have to do things one particular way, be it what you eat, how you sell, what you believe in, what you wear, how you earn money, how you exercise or even your relationship status options.
I get that some people are very passionate about whatever it is that might have changed their life for the better, and want you to experience the freedom and results for yourself. But just because it works for them, doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for you.
Take exercise and nutrition for example. I have two lovely friends who have hit the jackpot on their approach to both, at Vision Personal Training (and they were definitely not dogmatic about sharing it!). I have been massively committed to the exercise bit, never missed a session with my wonderful trainer and am feeling way better for it. Regarding the nutrition, I have totally changed my habits around how much alcohol I drink, pretty much cutting out processed foods, introducing more protein and less carbs and eating five times a day. Although my body shape has changed quite a bit, a weight loss of three kilos in nearly four months is not the same result as my friends (and it could of course have something to do with the fact that I relax my approach a couple of times a week, but then again so did my friends). With regard to exercise and food, I simply don’t believe that one size fits all, and I am working with my personal trainer to tweak things to see if we can speed things up, although I figure if I stick at it, I will get there eventually!! (and for me personally, to be totally regimented about food 24 x 7 sucks out the joy a bit too much :-).
And it’s not always about other people’s opinions (although we care way more about them than we let on). I also think we need to challenge doing something because ‘that’s the way it’s always been done’ or ‘that’s the way everyone else does it’. So what?!! It does not mean that it is the best way for you to do it (or that it even works – don’t get me started on my thoughts on quarterly reporting).
There are so many experts and opinions out there, the trick is for you to decide which one works for you, and then apply it. You may not get it right first time, and that’s fine, just shift whatever you want to shift around, get out there and start doing it, and see how it works next time. It is all about curiosity and tailoring the approach to you personally. I really got clear on this when I watched a talk by Liz Gilbert about passion bullies (here is the blog I wrote on it earlier this year). I realized I was one of those myself. Don’t feel the pressure of other people’s expectations, just choose to live the way that works for you across all areas of your life. And very importantly understand any costs associated with it. For example, you might choose to eat a diet of ‘beige’ food all day long, but understand that you might have some health complications, and will most likely frequently be outgrowing your wardrobe!
I do think we need to be mindful of giving up too early of course. Some things can take longer for results to show up than we would like, so make sure you give it a good chance before throwing in the towel.
Introducing my latest book
‘More Walk Less Talk’
Over the last couple of months I have been getting clear on the scope of my next book ‘More walk less Talk’. It is going to be part of a trilogy (the other books being ‘More Heart less Hype’ and ‘More Care less Crap’) which takes my original customer life-cycle (the Willy Wonka machine from my first book ‘Lead Generation') and goes into it deeper and broader.
I plan to have it completed by my birthday at the end of July this year, and I am super excited, about what I share in the book, because this time around, it is not just about lead generation, it’s about any kind of quest you might want to undertake in your life. For example, you might want to get more people along to a fund raising event; you could be thinking about a new career or want to increase your membership for a networking group you have set up.
In each of these instances, it is really about your own personal return on investment (PROI), where you personally can best spend your time, resources and energy to influence and impact for results. That specifically means
- Understanding your uniqueness and your brilliance
- Getting clear on the blocks and patterns that hold you back
- Crafting a tailored campaign or promotion based on your talents, personality and preferences, who you are reaching out to and what value you are sharing.
Regardless of what you choose to do, there are people out there who need you, and who will benefit from what you have to offer, so it’s as simple as you understanding who they are, where they are and how you can connect (and keep in touch) most powerfully. A key takeaway from the first book is you getting clarity on what it is that you are really good at and love doing.
I have been mindful of any dogma I might be including in the book, so will be checking and rechecking for any ideas I share that are too fixed. What I love about the approach that I am sharing is that it really is up to you to find a way that works. Just keep trying, measure the results and then either continue, or try something else (once you have given it a good bash). That’s why it’s personal ROI, and curiosity and experimentation is a great way to discover yours.