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When the student is ready the teacher will appear

“When the student is ready the teacher will appear” has been attributed to Buddha and other theologists. What does this mean to me? When the student is ready to acknowledge his or her ego has been in the way and are ready to set it aside with a laser-focus and pivot to a growth mindset, the teacher will appear. When you are not open to learning or feel like you know all the answers, the real answers will stay clouded and out of reach. The student may realize that the answers are everywhere at every moment and so many people can be teachers. In order to crush the average inside stay open to be teachable, coachable, and receptive to learning when you least expect it. We are all struggling with something right now. Keep taking one small step forward each day in this anxiety-ridden and challenging marathon of life.     We are in this together.   Defeating Average.   Colin  

Something good is about to happen

Optimism is scientifically proven to be a differentiator between long term sustained excellence and sporadic success. If you can’t envision slightly above the horizon on where you are currently pointed, how do you expect to get there? Creating a written vision that you review daily helps manifest it happening. I review mine every morning, in addition to the obstacles I need to overcome to get there. Visualizing success gets you halfway to your goal.  It’s 5 minutes a day as part of my morning routine.  It took me a few hours to create it over a few coffees.  When you are clear on the vision and optimistic on the target, you are more likely to land the plane. Defeating Average. Colin

Why you should give your secret sauce away

After 10 years of selling, I had figured a few things out. I had a process I followed what was working. Like a good BBQ sauce, I felt I had a recipe that was successful. Then one day it stopped working. I hit the financial crisis in 2008 and the way companies were buying changed. I didn’t pivot fast enough and had a rough year.  I also didn’t put up my hand and ask for help. I went it alone.  What did I take away from that year? People didn’t want BBQ sauce anymore. They wanted almond butter and I didn’t have a recipe.  In addition, if I had brought my BBQ sauce to the potluck party earlier and shared while it was in style, others would have shared their recipes back. I may have avoided a big slide. What am I saying? The selling world is complex.  If you give your secret sauce or go to nuggets away freely you are likely to get five to ten in return.  Ones that will keep you on …

Two questions to narrow your career focus

I was talking to a friend recently and they shared two questions they recommend when coaching people on finding the bullseye for their next role in a company or job transition. What gives you energy? What brings you life? Doing what you are good at, where you have strength and passion is a good place to start. Often, we need other people to help raise our gaze up to 30K feet above the clouds and daily monotony to see clearly. I find writing the answers to these types of questions down and journaling against them for two weeks will give you the insight you are looking for. Defeating Average. Colin  

What does success look like for the back half of 2020?

A few months ago Tiger King was popular, we were all really frazzled & worried about the virus and our family’s health. The virus is still here.  We are still anxious….and we are adapting. In NYC, some things are returning to normal. We sat on two outdoor patios Friday and Saturday. It felt like a new normal. We know a lot more than we did. We are stronger than we were and maybe than we thought. Looking ahead  What does success look like for you for the rest of 2020? You may feel a little more room to breathe, have a few more windows of time to think. In those moments three questions to ask yourself? 1. What does success look like in 2020? 2. How do you want to look back on how you showed up? 3. What and who have you been in service of? Can you commit to 10 min per day over the July long weekend to help find your way in the crisis? You can do it.  We all can do …

The Moment Before You React

  “When we’re growing up there are all sorts of people telling us what to do when really what we need is space to work out who to be.” -Ellen Page   I heard someone recently say, the space between when something happens to you and when you react to it is your opportunity to choose and grow.  It may be a millisecond, it may be a few seconds, but being present and aware of who you are and who you want to be in that moment is the compass to guide you there. Defeating Average. Colin  

Trust you can connect your dots

“You can’t connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backward. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something — your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life.” – Steve Jobs  I have always believed in paying it forward. Early in my career, I met two mentors who showed me the way. They shared with me, “give before you get and you will get more than you could ever imagine.” This is one of my rules that continues to serve me well. I can connect my dots back to decisions I made to follow their guidance and honor the advice they instilled in me.  I may not have known it then but I was seeding a lot of people who wanted me to be successful. I have had many occasions in the last two years where people I have helped 10-15 years ago for no …

Are you bargaining? 

I find myself each morning noting two things that will improve the quality of my day. Working on intaking only 20 minutes of social media in the evening and being in bed by 930pm to get a full night’s sleep.  Why? More than 20 min of social media reading gets me wrapped around the axle in this divisive environment and drives angst prior to sleep. I don’t sleep as well.  Similar to bedtime. I need more sleep these days. I learned a few years ago to focus on managing my energy and not my time.  Less energy = less quality of work and life enjoyment.  Here the problem. I bargain with myself.  Just 10 more minutes of either I say. 10 min turns into 20 or 30 minutes and affects my frame of mind.  What’s the solution? A seedling does not turn into a towering tree overnight. The roots need to grow down before it can rise up out of the earth. For each intention, I note setbacks and success and the impact it has …

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How to Normalize Through a Crisis

“There is so much aversion to risk. We have to take risks if you want to learn anything about yourself. If you want to expand the self-imposed walls, you don’t have to climb Lhotse Face in the Himalayas in order to do it.” – Hilaree Nelson, World-Class High Altitude Climber, and Skier Three reasons to watch this mini-documentary when you have 23 minutes Stunning filming in the Himalayas Understanding how two people at the top of their sport approach perseverance and challenge Hearing great narration from Jimmy Chin, who filmed Oscar-Winning Free Solo I was watching this 23-minute Mini-Documentary Saturday morning while working out in my bedroom. A yoga mat, and a kettlebell in our small NYC apartment. One of my new commitments is to get my workout in first thing in the morning, even if it’s shorter and not at full pace. What I need in this environment right now, is sweat and the creative wisdom I get from a workout and in this case some motivation for playing the long game when we come out of this pandemic. Getting one …

Principles in Crisis

I was listening to one of my usual podcasts, Stay Tuned with Preet Bharara, former head of the SDNY office. His guest was Andy Slavitt, former head of Medicare under Obama. When asked what his principles for a crisis are, he said: Get smart people around the table Listen deeply There are no such things as a perfect answer 70% of the time you may be right and 30% wrong If you mess it up, fix it Failures can be turned into setbacks if you just keep going and fix it Good advice at any time, but especially in these times. Defeating Average. Colin