None Of Us Is Great At Everything

A couple of weeks ago we had a major windstorm and turned into, for us, a minor snowstorm. At one point I was having a conversation on the phone with that woman I’m married to during the blackout the storm caused that went exactly like this:

not work I can do

Me: It seems that one of the siding panels, the one at the very top next to the roof, has broken off and is dangling by a thread from the top of the house.

Her: Oh no, that sounds bad.

Me: Yup. Because there’s no lights and the storm I can’t get the ladder to climb up to see what I can do. Not that I like ladders in the first place but in the dark and storm I’m thinking that would be a bad idea.

Her: You on a ladder is always a bad idea.

Me: Someone’s got to do it so I’ll wait until morning and see what I can do.

Her: You can’t; we don’t have that ladder anymore.

Me: What do you mean we don’t have that ladder anymore?

Her: It’s not there anymore. I think Roger took it.

Me: Roger took our ladder? Why’d he do that?

Her: Roger had a pattern of taking things from people’s homes he was working on that he didn’t think they needed. He took Sue’s paint without telling her. That’s why we haven’t used Roger for anymore projects at the house.

Me: I didn’t know that. So, no ladder?

Her: Nope.

Me: Well, I guess there’s no way for me to get up there then.

Her: Trust me, it’s for the best.

can't be good at everything

Isn’t her concern for my safety touching? She’s also pretty funny wouldn’t you agree? lol

The truth is that not only was she right that night when she said it, but she was right when it was finally completed… for multiple reasons.

One, I’m scared of heights. I’ve only been on 2 ladders my entire life, and neither of them the large ladder I was thinking about climbing.

Two, I wouldn’t have had a spotter which, for someone who pretty much can’t do many things would have been imperative.

Three, you see the result; there’s no way I could have done anything to make it look that good.

Four, although I have some tools (my wife calls it my toy toolkit; she’s so mean…), I didn’t have the right equipment to do the job.

I put in a call to the company that replaced my roof. The guy who came over turned out to be a guy I’ve known for 35 years, who did some work on the roof 12 years ago and now works for this guy, his son-in-law. It took a guy with his kind of skill 45 minutes, which not only consisted of his fixing the initial problem, but he then shored up the entire front of the house because he said more than half of the siding sheets were loose, and that accounts for some of the rattling I’d been hearing whenever we have high winds (which we have often, along with the snow).

For all the work he did, it ended up only costing me $75, which I gladly paid. In my mind, this was a job that I was going to get charged something like $300, which would have been hard to deal with at that time, and which explained why I was willing to give it the ol’ college try. I’d fallen into a couple of old mind traps, which is going to lead to the point of this story (hold on it’s coming…).

The first trap was my thinking that something was going to be easier than it turned out to be because I have a faith in myself that, in this particular case, was unwarranted. Ladders, tools, nails… I was definitely kidding myself that I had the qualifications and talent to do this kind of work on my own.

The second trap was assuming something was true without actually checking to see if it was. Most of the time people either assume things cost more or less than they actually do. This leads to us not verifying things up front and then getting burned on the back end. Trust me, I’m in health care, and it’s amazing how often I hear people complain about how much their medical bill turned out to be, only to find out they didn’t even think to call ahead of time to see how much it would cost and, if they had insurance, how much they would cover.

(200/365) Shhhhh
Creative Commons License Sarah via Compfight

Can I tell you a secret? Other than the fact that I write because I must, I write this blog, and this blog, and this blog, and this blog because I recognize that none of us is great at everything. Many of us have multiple skills, lots of things we can talk about that hopefully can help others.

Maybe it’s motivational; maybe it’s technical. Maybe it’s conceptual; maybe it’s thought provoking. Truth be told, I do a lot of writing because I do a lot of reading and I do a lot of thinking and then I do some doing and… then I share.

I visit the blog of every person who leaves a comment on this blog and some of my other blogs. I do this not only because it’s the courteous thing to do, but because I’m eternally curious and always looking to learn something new; I like being entertained also.

I also recognize there are times when I see something and my mind gets boggled, even if I’m interested in it. Sometimes I’m thankful that it doesn’t impact me. Other times, I just might need to ask that person a question to gain a little bit more clarity. Sometimes we need to reach out to someone else to get what we need.

Early in 2014 I wrote a post telling people how they can make their blogs successful is they were ready for the work. Today I’m asking you what you’re ready to do to be successful blogging, on social media, and by extension life. I’m asking you to “think”, and think hard.

What are you thinking about? Let’s start off with what do you want in your life. Then let’s go to what do you want to do with your blog. Then we’ll go to what are you hoping to accomplish via social media. Finally, what are you willing to do with, or for, any of these things?

Are you willing to pay for the knowledge you need? Are you willing to invest the time to learn what you need? Are you willing to pay for someone to help guide you? Are you willing to pay someone to provide services for things you either can’t do or don’t like doing? Are you willing to take a chance to achieve what you want for any of the things I mentioned above? Are you ready to focus?

Gifted Hero
Creative Commons License JD Hancock via Compfight

Here’s a little offer for you, a freebie if you will, and at the end all I’m going to do is ask you to share this post with as many people as possible so they can take advantage of it if they wish.

I’ve put together a package of sheets that can help you evaluate what you want out of life. None of the sheets are specific to blogging or social media, but it’s possible that they might end up being something you put on the sheets. These are sheets for self evaluation, goal setting and dreaming; hey, if you’re not dreaming of things you’re not really living right?

Just right click on this link and save it to your computer. It’s a zip file about 8 MB that you can open and check out when you have time. It even includes a copy of the book The Synergy of Business And Blogging, which most people don’t even notice is over there to the left as a free download. I’m including it here as the only thing talking about blogging because I’m in it. 🙂

If you find any of these things useful, I hope you share some of what you discover about yourself here or on your own blogs. Of course I want you to share this post everywhere you can think of because I’d love a lot of people to take advantage of this free deal. All this and I’m still not ready to collect email addresses; Adrienne’s going to fuss at me. lol

There’s my contribution for the day; now find out what you want and what you’re good at and let’s conquer the world! For good reasons of course. 😉
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Mitch Mitchell

Are You Spreading Yourself Too Thin?

A different start than normal on this blog. I’m going to begin by posting one of my recent videos where I highlighted my progress on my 2014 Goals. I’m doing this, even while knowing that most people who visit this post and possibly comment on it won’t watch any of it. Still, it highlights a lot of what’s going on with me now as it regards trying to reach some goals, knowing I’m not going to reach some goals, and in its own way addresses the topic:
 


http://youtu.be/tDhOvzLPmAI?list=UUYMVX_ehmfnV_BhvTOj-5_w

That’s just for starters. Lately I’ve decided to address some of my health issues by downloading the app Myfitnesspal and tracking what I’m eating (that link leads to another video, just so you know) in an attempt to lose some weight and also try to stay away from what was another health scare related to diabetes; sigh…

To say that I might be spreading myself thin with all that’s going on in my life is an understatement. To say that I can’t handle it all is another matter; I can and have been doing it. Just not in the manner that I was handling it before.

See, when I was home most of the time I spent a lot of time writing. Not just on my 5 blogs but on 4 other blogs as well. I also wrote a couple of newsletters, none for myself, was on 3 boards (still am) and in an officer position in all of them. And I was marketing, marketing, marketing… that’s what you do when you work for yourself. Throw in all the social media stuff… whew, I’m tired reading it.

Picture 12

I’m not close to a super man; nowhere near it. I’m tired often, but I’ve got goals to go after, things to do, things I want, a lifestyle I want to live, and I’m closer to retirement age than a beginning; that’s a little scary I have to admit. Thus, I know I don’t have the time to just sit around doing nothing; I have to get things done, or at least work towards getting them done.

What I am though is a realist. Over the last year, as I’ve been traveling and consulting out of town, and not close to home, I’ve realized that I had to modify how I did what I did so I could keep up with almost everything I have going on.

I have had to let some things go, some things that just aren’t feasible for the moment, and slow down on some other things that I was pretty good at keeping up with. Kind of like this blog; instead of 3 or 4 posts a week I’m down to 1 or 2. Has it suffered some? Maybe, but we do what we do right?

Some of you know that I consult in two areas: health care finance and leadership.

One of the things I decided early on as a leader is that you take care of what’s most important first but always have the other stuff on a list that you look at here and there, and when you get an opportunity you try to address the issue. There’s always going to be a period where things aren’t as hectic, even in the most hectic jobs; trust me on this one.

In health care finance, there are two major concerns: bringing in as much money as possible fast and doing it in a compliant way so you don’t get hit with major fines later on.

As a consultant, this means going in and looking at the most obvious stuff first because most of the time that’s where the big issues are, and if I address those issues the money starts rolling in. As a director I found the money was in the training; if employees are top notch not only will the money come rolling it, but it’ll continue rolling in so you can go take care of something else.

Student Design Charrette 21
PLACE Built Environment
Centre
via Compfight

Back in May I wrote a post about using my Franklin Planner. That’s been a big help because it not only allows me to write down everything I want to do but I also write down little motivational messages here and there to keep me on the straight path.

Part of my planning has been to write down when I need to write something for a blog, which blog, and when I want to release it. That’s obviously a big deal for me, but my local blog, Syracuse Wiki, has had to suffer. That’s because I want it to only be about local stuff, but if I’m not home it’s hard to write about much of it. In the high world of “finance” that’s known as a tough business decision; can’t do it all, right?

Marketing has been shut down because there’s no real reason to do it. I’m an independent consultant; for the most part I can only work on one project at a time, although I can do some consulting via phone (and have). Luckily, those folks have been finding me; nothing wrong with that.

Something else I’ve had to learn, which wasn’t a part of anything I was doing before all that much… I’ve had to learn to take breaks, even have some nights where I don’t do anything close to work.

When I was working for 3 months in New York City some years ago it was much different because every night was a new adventure, but not every place is like that; certainly where I am now can’t compare. So, I rest more when I’m on the road, and I rest more when I’m at home because I don’t have much time to do anything, including the stuff I need to do at home. Without the Planner, I’d be in really deep.

Okay, that’s all been about me; kind of selfish but I felt I had to establish a bit of authority on the subject so I can get to the main thrust of this post which is giving 5 tips for you to figure out how to pull your center together when you start feeling like your life and time is being spread too thin, because sometimes when that happens you just want to up and quit; never quit!

Tips time; here we go.

And What shall I Write
Lew (tomswift) Holzman
via Compfight

1. Get a planner, journal, memo pad, etc, and write stuff down. What makes most people feel really stressed? Trying to keep everything in your head. There are two main problems with that: you forget stuff; you can’t prioritize things when they’re all in your head.

Writing things down is not only cathartic but you might find that there are many things on your list that you can eliminate, pass off on someone else, get done pretty quickly, or is a major project that you need to do in stages. Nothing else works if you don’t start with this.

Snow plow
Creative Commons License Jeroen Kransen via Compfight

2. Find some support systems, even if they only take care of one or two things. For me, even though I could do them, I needed to have someone else do my accounting work and I needed someone to cut my grass and plow my driveway (I live in snow central; look it up lol).

That may not sound like much but for the first one, if you saw the amount of receipts I have to plow through and trying to manage who’s paying me and how, and separating expense payments from work payments, and then categorizing it all and having to then do all the taxes… ugh.

My lawn was taking me 3 hours to do pushing a mower, and when I got a riding mower, though it came down to about 45 minutes, because it turned out I was allergic to grass… well, if I showed you the picture of what I had to wear, in the hot sun… lol As for the snow, try living in a place where it literally snows every day in winter, and even though 6 to 8 inches is kind of a norm it all takes time to remove… so much easier to pay someone else for it.

This is how you need to think; it’s not about what you can do but what you don’t have to do so you can concentrate on the important stuff.

Golden Light at the Hour of Death
Trey Ratcliff via Compfight

3. Decide one main thing that you want to accomplish in your life and center everything around that one goal. Make it a BAHG, or “big audacious hairy goal”.

In some ways this might seem simplistic but look at it from my perspective. There’s lots of things I do and at times I might start feeling spread a bit thin. In those times I start thinking about the reason I’m trying to do them all, an ultimate goal where, if I ever achieved it, I could feel really free and relaxed.

Before I tell you the big one I’ll tell you some small ones. Initially I wanted enough money to buy a soda fountain machine. That morphed into an ice making machine. Those were kind of stupid as each only cost around $200 or so, thus I decided to shoot for an Aeron chair, which cost around $1,300.

That turned out not to be big enough so I decided on buying a car with cash. Not only did I do that but I bought 2, one for my wife and one for me. So I upped the amount and a few years ago thought about the goal of being able to design a different house and paying for it with cash.

All fine and dandy but I realized my goals were aligned in the wrong place. Those were all things I wanted, and I got some of them, but it was wrong. What I wanted for real was security, the ability to do anything I wanted to do, when I wanted to do it and wherever I wanted to do it. My goal… $10 million in the bank.

Now there’s a real goal! Realistic? Well, some might say no, but there are a lot of people who started something in their mid 50’s and became millionaires so why not me? Here’s the side benefit, and it’s a lesson learned from Jack Canfield, the Chicken Soup for the Soul guy. Decades ago his goal was to make $100,000 in one year selling his book. He made $92,000. Do you think he was disappointed? Nope, because it was more money than he’d ever made in his life, he was close to his goal, and look where we went from there.

So, have a BAHG; even if you don’t get there, you will progress, and you’ll know that all the stuff you’ve been doing, if you’ve been focused, is worth it.

~♥~ And my heart will go on and on ~♥~
¤ [B~B] Bourne Bedweey [B~B] ¤
{Away}
via Compfight

4. Don’t be afraid to let go of certain things, but make sure you look at it from all sides first before doing it. I’m going to let you in on a little secret (won’t be a secret after this). I’m thinking about shutting down one of my websites and blogs. In a way, this makes me feel like a quitter, but in another way I’m thinking it might help me focus a bit more while remaining true to my goal.

This isn’t a new thought, and part of my thinking was reignited this weekend when I was having a conversation with Lynn Terry of Clicknewz. I was telling her about all the blogs I was writing and she asked if there was one or two I could reduce or stop doing. Over the last few days I’ve thought about it some more and, well, it just might happen; I’m just not sure yet.

Still, if I decide to let it go then it’s gone. Last year I stopped writing one of my newsletters after 10 years and the year before I stopped writing a different newsletter after 9 years. There are some other things I’m thinking about removing myself from, not because I don’t like them but because I need more time to focus on my $10 million.

I know I’m not alone on this one. What things are you doing out of obligation that maybe you loved at one time but now it’s more of a chore to do? Is it taking you away from something you’d much rather do, something with a more positive endgame?

Be Awesome

5. Take care of yourself first. Remember earlier I was talking about motivational messages I keep writing in my Planner? This is one of the first, and every month I write it again before anything else. That I feel the need to remind myself of this over and over is proof that I’m not doing it right.

If you don’t take care of yourself first you can’t help anyone else for long. If you don’t plan for your future it’ll be upon you before you know it and you’ll be in dire straits. If you don’t take care of yourself there might not be a future; scary isn’t it?

If you feel that you’re spreading yourself too thin think of this particular statement. Go through all the steps I mentioned because they’ll help give you some direction. If you have any conflicts whatsoever… take care of yourself first. We all know what to do; sometimes we’re conflicted. Don’t feel guilty; just do it and you’ll see that not only will you feel better, but things will start going your way.

Like that last picture says… Be Awesome! 😉
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2014 Mitch Mitchell

Reserve Index

I have written about this pdf file, which you can download, called the Reserve Index, on my business blog a few times, and thought I should introduce it here because there are different readers for this blog than that one.

road-adventure

It’s a self evaluation form to help you determine just how comfortable you are with your life and ideas, based on the questions, of how you can improve your life even further for your peace of mine. Some people seem to be scared of self evaluation; y’all know I’m not one of those people.

The first time I took this test, I only scored 8 out of 100+ possible points, which was disheartening. A year later, I was able to mark off 27, which was a significant improvement. Then, a couple of months ago I took it again and only managed 18 positive points. The scary thing is that I passed it out to a number of my friends, and only one of them, when I originally took it, scored higher than I did. That’s pretty sad.

The test consists of six regular categories and one bonus categories, basically giving you the opportunity to write in something that you feel improves you life that hasn’t already been addressed. Not all of the questions will apply to you as far as your happiness goes. For instance, there was a point about multiple vacations out of town, and that’s something that would never interest me, so I’ll never get that point.

I’d like you to take the Reserve Index test, evaluate yourself, and, if you feel comfortable enough, come back here and tell us how you did and how you felt about where you place. Come on, you have nothing to hide!
 

Digiprove sealCopyright secured by Digiprove © 2016 Mitch Mitchell