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Better Than Average Blog - Improve anything, maximize talents, and stand out from the crowd

Turning Fear into Abundance

Turn Fear to AbundanceWe are scared. Scared that we won’t have a job. Scared that we won’t sell a product. Scared that we won’t make payroll.

We play in fear. Fear of rejection. Fear of loss. Fear of spiders.

The opposite of fear is abundance.

Somewhere will hire. Someone will buy. There is enough.

Change from a fear mindset to an abundance position to increase your chances of success.

What you verbalize comes true. If you think fearfully, speak abundantly.  Turn the fear into faith. Faith that you will succeed. Faith that your ideas will be heard. Faith that you will stand out from the crowd.

Look around. We live in the age of abundance. Access to the world’s information is in our pocket. We have more food than ever before. More people live in freedom. And it’s only getting better.

Find another customer to buy your goods. Take that lower paying job to make ends meet. Start the idea you’ve been putting off. Do what you need to do to persevere.

Someone somewhere needs your talents, services, or products. Go find them.

(image courtesy of Andy Potter on geograph)

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Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
Author, Speaker, Consultant
[email protected]
Download Better than Average: Excelling in a Mediocre World

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7 Things Generation Y Can Teach Us about the Workplace

Todd Brockdorf

There are no generational workplace differences. Quite simply, they are a myth. Yes, there are now four different generations working in the same place. However, all four generations still want the same things – respect, trustworthy leadership, stability, feedback, loyalty. See Jennifer J. Deal’s work at the Center for Creative Leadership.

Now that we’ve got that out of the way, the question is, what can Generation Y teach us all – Boomers, Gen X’ers, Millennials, about the workplace. After all, the Gen Y’ers are starting to rise up the ranks of the corporate ladder. Or in some cases, are already sitting on top of it (aka Mr. Zuckerberg).

7 Things Generation Y Can Teach Us about the Workplace

  1. Ask Curious Questions – Generation Y is also known as “Generation Why” for a reason. They tend not to accept things as they are unless they understand the back story. In other words, the “why”. If we all asked more “why” questions, we could work to eliminate the ineffective/arcane/stupid processes, procedures, and practices that handcuff our abilities.
  2. Entrepreneurial Thinking – Generation Y wants to move fast and break things. They learn by trying, tinkering, and toiling. A company’s slow pace and bureaucratic overhead are the ball and chain of disenfranchisement. What would happen if we sped up decision making? Might a calculated risk pay off?
  3. Workplace Flexibility – It’s pointless to leave Generation Y trapped in the confines of their four-walled cubicle. They will find a way to bust out – one way or another. As we all try to do more with less, “work hours” are extending beyond 9-5. We can all embrace workplace flexibility. Who cares wherever or whenever work gets done, as long as it is on time and accurate? Who really cares if you are sitting in your PJs when you are responding to email? Do you really need to be in the office to do that? Of course not, and it shouldn’t matter to you if your coworkers do either.
  4. Unified Communications – Generation Y communicates through social media, text messaging, instant messaging, and to a lesser extent, email. Give your people the tools to be successful. Internal social media sites, instant messaging, and presence notifications (on the phone, busy, away from the desk), benefit everyone in the organization through quicker decision making and shared knowledge transfer.
  5. Feedback for Growth – One of the knocks of Generation Y is that they require constant feedback. So? Don’t you want to know how you’re doing? Or is sitting in the dark, stuck in the poop, like a mushroom, really a good way to grow? Feedback should be more than an annual occasion.
  6. Respect for Everyone – Generation Y grew up in a multicultural society. If they didn’t have it in their hometown, they saw it when they got to college. They accept people for who they are. They judge others on their merits, not preconceived notions or stereotypes. Can’t we all just get along?
  7. Expectations of Greatness – Above all, Generation Y wants to be inspired. They want to find meaning in their work. They want to do good. They want to understand a larger connection with the world. They expect greatness. If we all expect greatness in ourselves, our coworkers, and our company, we will find that meaning, the connectedness, and the good that we do.

_____

Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
Author, Speaker, Consultant
[email protected]

 

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Embrace the Off-Season

Those who stand out from the crowd embrace the off-seasonNo matter what your chosen profession, chances are, you have an off-season – a time where work slows down. Those who stand out from the crowd, embrace the off-season.

If you work in a business office, maybe it is around the end of December. If you are in retail, maybe it is around February. If you are a professional football player, it is the summer.

We all have periodic times when our work activity is lighter than others.

What do you do during your off-season?

The Better than Average find a way to embrace their off-season for good. They turn their down time into productive time. They make mole hills into mountains. They work out what needs to be shaped up.

6 Activities the Better than Average Do to Embrace the Off-Season

If you are at a loss as to what to do during your off-season, here are 7 items you can do to get you started.

1.   Strategic Planning Create it, tweak it, dust it off, it doesn’t matter. Personal or professional. Homemaker or home builder. Coach or contributor. We can all have a strategic plan for our businesses, ourselves, and even our families. Get out the crystal ball and project the future – three to five years ahead. How will “it” be if you could have it any way you wanted?

 2.   Annual PlanningAnnual planning is the “let’s-look-at-the-year-ahead-of-us” type of planning. Take those actions from the strategic plan due the next year. Develop greater detailed actions, if needed, to reach the targets in the strategic plan. Add any new items that should be accomplished during the year. As they say, “You can see clearly now, the rain is gone. You can see all obstacles in your way.”  You’re singing now, I can tell. Stop singing and ask yourself, what do I deserve to accomplish this coming year?

 3.   Financial PlanningAnother way of stating financial planning is budgeting. Money. Cash. Payola. Once the annual plan is completed, how much money do you need to accomplish it? Will you be breaking the bank?

4.   Training and Development – Like athletes exercising their muscles, the Better than Average exercise their minds during the off-season. Take classes. Read educational books (click here or here, depending on your preference). Attend seminars and conventions. Learn new skills and refine old ones to stand out from the crowd. What did you learn today?

5.   Network – It is the perfect time to network with others in the field, as everyone tends to have the same off-season. Connect with past coworkers. Reach out to recruits. Say “hi” to the new guy. Who do you need to meet?

 6.   Complete the Odds and Ends – What have you been putting off? Go through the stack of mail. Cross off a To Do item that is starting to go stale and crusty. Call your mother (hi Mom!). No matter how small, you will feel immediate relief of one nagging pain. Take that first step. What do you need to complete today?

 

(image courtesy of Mr. Cheer or Die at Viking Underground)

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Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]

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The 8 Commandments of How to Write Email

How to Write EmailSince email began to rise in popularity in the early 1990’s, it still seems that even in its young adulthood of its 20’s, people still do not understand proper email etiquette.

Despite what Facebook has to say about the impending death of email, it will still be around for some time. We might as well learn how to use it properly.

How to write an email may seem remedial for some, but apparently there are plenty of people out there that still need a reminder.

The 8 Commandments of How to Write Email

  1. Thou shalt not use email as an urgent medium – If you need to get in touch with someone, either pick up the phone or send an instant message if you see they are online. Email should be checked twice per day – noon and 4PM (assuming you work 9ish to 5ish). That way, you can focus on your work output and projects. What is the proper communication medium?
  2. Email is not thy job – Unless you are in customer service responsible for responding to customers on behalf of your company, managing your inbox is not your primary job function. Close Outlook/Notes/web browser and get your work done. What should you really be doing?
  3. Thou shalt use the CC field for notification only – Treat it as an FYI. Assume that someone will not see the message if they are in the CC field. Some people even filter their messages so that when they are in the CC field, it goes to a separate, less viewed box. In which field should this recipient be placed?
  4. Thou shalt not use email as a conversation medium – If the email string goes beyond three emails, pick up the phone or send an instant message, especially if the “conversation” is between two or three people. The tit for tat back and forth clutters inboxes and often takes longer than a quick call. How can I get more done faster?
  5. Thou shalt not send a thank you email – If your email body only contains only the words “Thank You”, do NOT send the message. “Thank You” is implied by the sender of the original message. Save the storage. Bite the bits. If there is more than a simple “thank you”, fine, send the message. But please do so cautiously. What value are you adding to your messages?
  6. Thou shalt use the Reply All button sparingly – Consciously think about who must see it, who might like to see it, and who doesn’t need to see it. Those thoughts translate to the To field, the CC field, and the Remove from Message button. Who really needs to get the message?
  7. Thou shalt use Read Receipts sparingly – We have enough online stalkers already through social media. We don’t need another one through our inboxes. If you must have “proof” that your recipient saw your message (say an RFP response), use the read receipt. But, remember that some systems do not reply to the read receipt. Or, some people refuse to send out receipts. Why do you continue stalking?
  8. Speed is not the response – Expect a 24-48 hour turnaround to your message. If that is too much of a lag, find a different medium. If the response is quicker, consider yourself fortunate. Or, the recipient was bored. Do you absolutely, positively got to have a reply now?

 

QUESTION FOR YOU –

What commandments must thy obey most?

 

SOMETHING FOR YOU –

For a white paper on 11 Easy Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd, shoot me an email and you score it for free!

_____

Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]

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What myths do you still believe?

Christopher ColumbusDo you still believe Christopher Columbus “discovered” America? Do you still believe in the Tooth Fairy? Does Santa Claus exist?

I hate to pop your petunia, but he didn’t, it was your mom or dad, and sorry, but no.

We all have mythological knowledge that we have to unlearn – some told by our parents, some taught by our schools, some heard from our cousin’s friend’s uncle.

The question is when do we wake up, realize we’ve been told false information, and write our own conclusions?

Do you still believe that you cannot get that promotion? Do you still think that you are not leadership material? Do you still imagine it’s too late to follow your dreams?

With today’s technology and abundance of opportunities, barriers to entry are lower than ever before.

If you need an app for that, outsource it to a freelancer.

If you desire to be a news reporter, start filming.

If you want to raise chickens, they’ll deliver them through the mail.

Stop making excuses. If you really wanted to do it, you would make the time. You would self-select some activity already in your schedule and stop doing it.

Maybe you would wake up a half-hour earlier and turn off the TV a half-hour earlier the night before. Maybe you would forgo that extra piece of cake and walk an extra 20 minutes. Maybe you would read a book instead of status updates.

What myths do you tell yourself to “justify” your behaviors?

If a one-armed hippopotamus attack survivor can raise three kids, what’s your excuse?

If you want to be a writer, write. If you want to be a speaker, speak. If you want to be a comedian, get on stage.

There is no substitute for doing. There is no cure for inaction. There is no progress in sitting still.

If you want to change your lot in life, take that first step.

 

QUESTION FOR YOU –

How did you work on your dream today?

 

SOMETHING FOR YOU –

For a white paper on 11 Easy Ways to Stand Out from the Crowd, shoot me an email and you score it for free!

 

(image courtesy of etchasketchist on Flickr)

_____

Todd Brockdorf
Better than Average Guy
#1 Best-Selling Author, Speaker, Thought Leader
[email protected]

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