the year of revolution


Sometimes you have to do the hardest thing.

2012 was my year of revolution.


I had to get clear, be patient, deal with being exactly where I was and am and keeping pressing on.

I look back on the last year and it all happened exactly the way it needed to for me to be pushed to do what I want to do. I wrote a lot, I published on this blog, I was published in print for the first time. I got fired, I got hired somewhere else. Something was missing. My passion. My fire.

I kept thinking about what I wanted to see in my future. There was doubt, fear, and all the other things that come with worry, but I kept on and on. This revolution was years in the making.

I envisioned true revolution something like this:

I work from home, I exercise when I want, I write in the mornings, I make enough money to feel safe. I wrote it down, erased it, rewrote with more clarity and intention. I pulled images together in my head of what it looked like. What it meant. How it would feel.

I had no idea how it would work OR IF, but I was certain about this – if I didn’t start today and today and NOW, I would never know. So I did it. I began.

And last week I resigned from my job because it happened, it all came together, all the stars aligned and I now work for myself. I did it. I started my own business. I can shape it into what I want it to be. To write, to take on only the work that I want to be doing, to believe in myself and to take my own advice and GO!  I’m terrified and overjoyed. Thankful, humble and feeling badass all at the same time.

And I find it no coincidence that it’s right about year ago today that I started, that I began. That I posted for the first time on this blog. That I wrote my way through all of it.

My friend Candice always says, be careful what you wish for, because you just might get it.

It might not be exactly the way you envisioned getting there, but you just might get it.  Dreams do come true – are you willing to risk it? Take that chance? Set it all on fire? Start today?!

working it.

For the first time in my life I work with sixty four other people – In the same office. I’ve been a part of large and small organizations and sometimes even felt like a contractor in my last job when I was an office of ONE. But I’ve never worked in an office with this many people.

In an office of 65, you don’t have to like everyone, work with everyone, or even talk to everyone. It’s foreign, compared to the smaller places I’ve worked where you kind of have to find a way to deal with everyone’s crazy.  I mean we’re all crazy – right? It’s a matter of whether my crazy works with your crazy or not.

What this new office has made me think about is what makes a good company? What makes people want to come to work everyday, what makes people positive instead of negative?

So far, I’ve realized, nice is better than cool – considerate is better than cool – organized and trying to be a better collective organization is better than fighting the world for the ideas of one influential leader.  The opposite of patriarchy is good. Positivity is good when it’s real.

Smart people doing good work together is cool.

These things seem obvious, but why are so many organizations dysfunctional then?

In a world where we are so conscious about service, why do we sometimes choose to work in environments that are less than employee-centric? Aren’t we the internal customers of the companies we work with?

Maybe a better way of saying that is – isn’t there something in it for the company you work for if you get better at your job and become a better human being? I think there is.

Working for a company that so far embraces me for who I am and what I bring to the table and allows me to play to my strengths is where I believe the future of successful businesses is going. It makes such good sense that I find myself mistrusting it every day, I keep thinking, this can’t be real. But so far – it is.

Employer got you down? They most likely aren’t going to change unless you do. Nothing is static, everything changes, start with yourself – it’s the only real control you have.

In any good relationship as you change so does your partner, you communicate, you talk about change. If you’ve changed and your work/boss/environment hasn’t or can’t come along with you, maybe it’s time to find a new place to work. As painful as that can be, it’s worth it, you’re worth it.

If you’re a business, you might want to think about how you treat people, how you engage with them, how you influence them, or stifle them. Are you thinking only about what you’d like? Or are you asking the tough questions about what the people who work with you actually want?

The world is changing to be more inclusive will you keep up with that change?

NINE Principles for PREMIUM Client Service

What is premium service? It’s relative, depending on what service you are seeking, but if you are in the premium service business, or want to be – there are universal principles.

These have likely been stated by others, but here is my take on them.

If you are in the premium service business, these should be requirements, not suggestions.

ONE. The person in front of you is the most important person in the world. The person on the phone is second and the person on email is third.  NO exceptions. Take care of them in the order above. NO exceptions.

TWO. Answer all your emails and phone calls within two hours of receiving during business hours, unless you are on a plane. If you are on a plane without WiFi, be sure to have your out of office activated. Check email once each day on the weekends. If you can’t accomplish this you have too much on your plate – hire someone to help.

THREE. Try your best to use positive language when communicating with clients.  Instead of saying – No, we can’t do that in that timeline. Say YES!, we’ll create an aggressive and attainable schedule. Or instead of saying, that’s management’s call, I can’t make that call. SAY I understand your frustration, let me see what I can do for you…AND then DO SOMETHING.

FOUR. Don’t defer to your boss if you know what your boss is going to say.  Make it right. NOW.  Take responsibility, your boss will love you and so will your client. If you can’t make it right now – do not argue, question or anything else, drop it and take their information so that the appropriate person can contact them.

FIVE. If you offer a premium service, always charge a premium price. Never sell your company short for something you do well or a product you deliver. NEVER have a sale, unless you are desperate, that’s what a sale says.  Our product/company/people aren’t worth what we thought, let’s discount it. Exception to the rule: client appreciation day, a single day sale per year or something similar. YOU ARE VALUABLE – stay that way.

SIX. Treat people fairly, they are your customer/client, you want them to like you. Refund anything people don’t want or like, it’s easy.

SEVEN. Know your regular clients likes and dislikes, so you don’t end up suggesting, offering, or giving something meaningless to them.  Which brings me to…

EIGHT.  Create meaningful relationships between you and your client. They love your product, service, idea, get to know why and how you can make it a richer experience for them.

NINE. Don’t be fake! Be the real you. Don’t try to create a meaningful relationship.  Either do it or don’t. If you don’t like doing this, hire someone who does. Your business and clients will thank you.

What would you add to this list?