Advice for a New Job/Year

Old Email

While cleaning out some old piles of paperwork, one sheet of paper caught my eye. A printed copy of an email from 18 years ago.

Words of advice from my first boss and mentor on the eve of taking a new job. The first real job after college.

The advice resonated today just as much as it did those many years ago.

  1. Follow through on what you said
  2. Build relationships
  3. Find out what is important to your staff and other people
  4. Life is more than work
  5. Relationships are built on trust and take time
  6. Study the budget – it is your tool/guide for the year
  7. Most of all have fun (when it stops being fun, it is time to move to something else)

Thank you Michael for the words, advice, and guidance. These words helped me in the first job, and should help us all as the new year begins.

Collective Challenge Day 6 (My 50th Post!)

Two ceremonious events collide today:

1.  We are just about done with our first week of the challenge, and the comments (especially from yesterday’s post) and the phone call from a friend confirmed that we are doing something great together.  Sometimes I wonder if these ideas, questions, or challenges are just ramblings…and it is typically when I am doubting this blog or myself that one of you confirms the impact it has had on your actual life. It is this confirmation that helps us press on together.

2.  This is my 50th post!  This is a milestone.  As I shared with you before, I have not always been the type to sit down and set yearly goals.  Last year I did.  One of those goals was to actually write on a regular basis.  I was inspired by a friend who helped me realize that I didn’t have to write an entire book in a weekend, but could begin by regularly disciplining myself to write.  

Remember part of this challenge is to Dream Big.  Sometimes once you identify that dream, trying to figure out how to accomplish it can be overwhelming.  But the first step is making a decision to start towards that dream.

It was gaining the understanding that a small decision made every day could really change your life that helped me know where to begin.  I didn’t have to do it all at once, and neither do you.  This blog is the result of a small scary decision made on a regular basis!

I know I say this a lot, but thanks again for being part of this journey together.

Collective Challenge Day 4

We are half way to our first whole week in our collective challenge for 2012.  Do I know how the stock market did yesterday?  Nope.  Have I heard the latest poll about who knows what? Again, no.  Have I endured the latest reason why I am not doing that thing that I should be doing or how the world is ending or how the globalization of mechanized currency exchange has led to the most significant depressing under-unemployment for demographics less than my current state?  NO!

This is what I do know.  I went to work yesterday after being away on vacation and connected with co-workers and realized I missed their faces.  I had a productive day at work and earned my pay.  I came home and ate dinner with my amazing wife and kids (the meatloaf was awesome).  After dinner I played war (the card game) with my youngest daughter and she totally crushed me.

The evening ended with tucking the kids into bed and reading them a story.  My world may be a little smaller, a little less informed, a little less global.   But my world is beginning to feel more connected and more important.

Thank you again for being part of this journey together.  Maybe we really can change the world.

A New Year, a New Challenge

Wow, another year has passed.  Another year is before us.  How strange is it that we as a species track time the way we do.  The last time I checked, the squirrel in my yard may have a concept of seasonal changes, but there was no day-timer sticking out of his back pocket.  I cannot remember a time when a giraffe was wearing a wrist watch.  Do they even have wrists?

Tracking time gives us an interesting opportunity.  The calendar resets each year and as the prior year fades away, we can challenge ourselves to achieve something, do something, or be something different.

Beyond goal setting or finding your sentence, how about a different challenge?  A challenge we can all try together and see what we can collectively do to make this world a better place.

The 2012 Collective Challenge

1.  Try not to watch, listen to, or read the news for the next 30 days.  The news cycle is interesting.  In order to entice us to keep reading, it portrays events in catastrophic and negative terms (the world, economy, life, society, or whatever is horrible, on the brink of disaster, the worst in a generation…) and tends to criticize everyone and everything along the way.  Being happy and having a positive outlook on life for the upcoming year becomes hard if you constantly hear how bad things are out there.

2.  Randomly help someone who is outside of your circle in a generous way. Why not surprise someone in this world with an act of kindness or generosity that helps restore their view of the world as well.  Outside of your circle means either a stranger or someone who you don’t regularly connect with.  It is easy to help someone close to you, because they may help you back, but helping strangers is much more selfless.  A few ideas: You could pay for someone’s gas at the pump, pay for some groceries, or send 40 bucks to a random address.

3.  Dream Big.  What is that thing, that idea, that amazing thing that is brewing inside you?  Write that sucker down!  Leave the fear back in 2011, it doesn’t belong in this new year.   “The only thing we have to fear…is fear itself” may help you, but I have a better one.

“The only thing to fear is snakes.  If it is not a snake ignore it!”

If you want to participate, let me know.  Leave a comment, and encourage everyone here to try this.  Post comments as the month progresses.  Let us know about how you feel without the negativity of the news cycle, the creative way you helped someone else, and the progress towards your dream for this year.

Thanks for being part of this community, and together we can change the world.