Simplify. Simple As That.

It’s only after I had some quality time off to myself that I realized how cluttered and difficult life can be. With 12 more days off in my 28-day between-job hiatus, I’ve been thinking about how my routines, purchasing habits and tasks can be tweaked ever-so-slightly in an effort to simply simplify. Here are 9 recent discoveries.

simplicity on a fence

Word to the wise.

  1. Super shiny tinted lip gloss. It used to be full-blown lip liner, lipstick and a top coat of gloss. But why? A super shiny tinted lip gloss in a tube creates less mess in the purse/make-up bag and is a 3-in-1 no brainer.
  2. Dishwasher gel packs. No more messy, flip-top gel detergent. I explained them to my kids using the solid versus liquid science analogy and they got excited to help me do the dishes. WOW!
  3. No iron. No dry clean. No hand wash. No explanation necessary. Shop smart.
  4. Few or no throw pillows. There are days I just want to fall into bed without any more hassles. But I always have to clear away throw pillows first – which are only there for decoration anyway.
  5. Electric candle warmer. A good friend bought me one last year and when I think about it, I use it. NOW I’M SOLD!! No wicks, no smoke, no flame, less danger. Plus, constant scent management.
  6. Indoor griddle/grill combo. Perfect for our 2nd home out on the lake where space is tight but we always have time for great food and good friends.
  7. Organized linen closet. Roll the towels. Sheets inside pillow cases. Baskets for the little stuff. All thanks to Pinterest!
  8. Try the magic eraser first. Not sure how, but 99.8% of the time, this wizard of a product can get the job done – including ink pen on a sweatshirt.
  9. 12 uses for Vicks VapoRub. One jar can do all this? Can’t wait to try this on mosquitos and headaches.

 

Don’t Wait, Create!

It was 12:58pm on Wednesday, January 25th. I had just resigned a mere 3.5 hours ago and was celebrating what’s next over a beer with my husband of 17 years. As we were planning and discovering things for me to do in the next 28 days before starting work again, I somehow had the common sense to remember I had bought a ticket to a Dale Carnegie Institute/Jeffrey Gitomer Reslilient Leadership session…which was going to start at 3pm that afternoon. How coincidental??

So, we finished plotting out a grand plan for the next month and beyond, and I rushed home to brush my teeth and head over to the Embassy Suites in Greenville, SC. I’m a fan of Gitomer already – I subscribe to his sales/marketing e-zine and have dabbled in his Ace of Sales email program. What I wasn’t prepared for a was a solid 2.5 hours of atta-girl, motivational inspiration to go conquer my new opportunity. Yes, I had pretty high expectations given my familiarity with his content, but I got totally immersed into his direct Jersey boy why-haven’t-you-bought-an-iPad-yet performance that hit a nerve with me every time he opened his mouth.

So, here are the big idea take-aways from Gitomer’s session. Some are quite practical and simple, a few are merely thought-provoking, while others require action or change. I personally walked away with a rekindled confidence to move on to what’s next – smothered in a notion of Hell Yes!

JEFFREY GITOMER: Resilient Leadership Principles

  • open a biz opportunity with ‘before we get started…’ – sets a relaxed, informal, truthful tone from the outset
  • laugh or think in the first minute of new biz opportunity, otherwise you’ll spend the rest of the meeting recovering
  • show pix of your kids whenever you can – create the emotional appeal
  • sales are made emotionally, justified logically
  • substitute television for writing/reading and you win
  • loosen up – today’s Presidential candidates don’t even wear ties
  • always train new employees for attitude first – start with yourself
  • coach the player; lead the team
  • stay coach-able yourself
  • the more you study it, the better you are at teaching it
  • people need to see your believe to become believers themselves
  • don’t lead by example, set the standard
  • react, respond, recover – how you do these as a leader determines your success
  • if you ever SAY you are the boss, you’re probably not
  • if you hire an eagle, they will fly
  • make your social media policy focus on what you CAN do, not what you can’t
  • if your people are better at things, you will win
  • have a bad minute, not a bad day
  • replace the word change with opportunity to get a different reaction
  • set earnings expectations & minimums, not quotas
  • strive for loyalty, not satisfaction
  • teach how to earn referrals, not make cold calls
  • teach testimonials, not a sales pitch
  • teach buying motives, not sales skills
  • if someone on your team leaves for a competitor, it’s YOUR fault
  • treat everyone like a one year old – without the baby talk!

 

By changing nothing, nothing changes.

It was eerily surreal as I gathered up the last of my things and headed out the front door. It was a dark, dreary, rainy, early morning in Greenville, SC. I had just resigned for the first time ever.

As I headed from the door to my car in the parking lot it was a bit like time was standing still. One step forward and I was moving toward what was next. One step backward and I was where I was comfortable, had many reliable business associates and was in a place where I made lifelong friends.

The past 8 years at ScanSource, Inc. were immensely valuable to me. I learned so much about the new age of marketing, how to create raving fans out of everyday customers, developing teammates to do more for themselves, and learning how to protect a corporate culture in an ever-competitive global economy. In fact, the lessons I learned there were beyond unteachable in school. It takes real world business to be impacted like I was during those years.

Here’s something I discovered: Sometimes you can be everything the ideal professional is supposed to be and still have challenges that cannot be solved by following what’s supposed to happen. The good news is these are the moments where you really grow up. I had many of those and I am a better leader, mother, friend and person because of them.

By changing nothing, nothing changes.

Sometimes to most appropriately apply your learnings it requires change. For me it was time for change. While I can’t say that I accomplished everything I had hoped at ScanSource, sometimes it takes a reality check to know when you have done all that you can. I had reached that point. Perhaps I was setting the bar too high and expecting too much from myself and others. Or, perhaps I’m just not that good. I know I can always improve and started believing I needed some sort of justification that doing something for myself for a change was the right path to take.

So here I am. With 28 days off ahead of me to focus on what’s important: my glorious children, my ever-supportive husband, my loyal 14-year old golden retriever/basset puppy, a neglected lake house, leading from within to support local charities and taking time to watch the branches blow in the breeze and hear the clock ticking in my kitchen. Honestly, I did that this morning and it was soul-soothing.

Those who know me, know I am passionate about three things. (1) influencing people to be better, (2) strategic, results-driven technology marketing and (3) learning something new every single day.

I’m psyched to open a new chapter in a new company with new endeavors on February 22, 2012. However, I’m not about to forget yesterday. Instead, I’m excited to apply my past to reach an even better tomorrow. That is the stuff that life is made of. For our careers shouldn’t define us, they should enhance us.

I’m eternally grateful for those who challenged me and lifted me up during my time at ScanSource. I may be gone, but you all are never forgotten.