Archive for the ‘Personal Growth’ Category

Are You a Giver or a Taker?

Couple quick thoughts to share…

I can’t count the number of times I’ve extended myself to help someone out, both strangers and those I know, and never once received a thank you.

Some would say, when you give, you should be giving without any expectations in return.

And I wholeheartedly agree with that on one level.

At the same time, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with expecting a simple thank-you.

Everyone wants a little acknowledgement, even if they try to fool themselves into thinking they don’t.

It’s part of “being in this together” and building relationships. It’s about giving back to those who have given to you. And it’s just good breeding.

If we are all trying to be better people, I think it’s good to do take a personal audit every now and then and ask ourselves, Am I a giver or a taker?

Do you sign up for things just to mine other people’s stuff?

Do you join forums and then lurk around… making active, contributing members  feel uncomfortable, like there is a stranger in their midst who is eavesdropping on their conversations and whose intentions are unknown… who is just taking and benefiting from their input without contributing anything in return?

Do you use people to get what you want, but don’t consider what those who have helped you might need or appreciate in return?

When someone goes out of their way to help you when they don’t have to, do you acknowledge that? Do you remember to say “thank you?”

Those two simple little words go a long way.

Do you publicly acknowledge their help so others know?

This extends to your client relationships as well. You never want to take their business for granted.

One small little gesture I make that clients of mine have told me means so much to them is that when I receive their payment (even if I’m the one processing it to pay myself), I always, ALWAYS, email them and tell them ”thank you.”

Every single time.

Some might think after the first few times you wouldn’t need to bother. But it’s the small things and paying attention to seemingly insignificant details that are often make the most meaningful, memorable impact.

So don’t be a user. Don’t be a taker.

Give back as good as you get.

Remember to say thank you to your clients for their business (and payments) and to all the colleagues, mentors and others along your journey who help you, each and every time.

Grateful to Be a Business Owner

I am unendingly thankful for making the decision so long ago to go into business for myself.

Creating, growing and running a business has expanded my mind and added to my life in so many ways.

Being a business owner has made me a more conscious person, not just in business, but in life.

The experience has taught me so much about relationships, about myself, even what life is about.

It’s allowed me to live and feel and experience life more fully and vibrantly.

Self-determination is the epitome of freedom, and I’m so grateful to live in a country and be in a business that allows me to have that freedom.

Attagirl

I got the nicest compliment from a colleague last week. Really made my day.

She had been busy working on some marketing stuff for her business, and asked for some feedback on a small part of the picture.

I’ve been swamped with client work and projects. It would have been so much easier to just say, “Looks great!” and been done with it.

But I saw some things that could be improved to better accomplish what she wanted, and I gave her my honest-to-goodness thoughts, and didn’t think anything more of it.

She sends me back an email, saying simply, “See, this is why I love you to pieces.”

She probably had no idea how much that simple sentiment meant to me, especially at that moment. It got me to about one of the reasons why I formed the Virtual Assistant Chamber of Commerce

Socializing and having folks who will give you an encouraging “attagirl” (or “attaboy” as the case may be) without hesitation is so important. It’s necessary, it’s supportive, it’s what creates community and bonds us with each other, and we all need that.

And in our industry, you can go to any number of organizations and get that.

Sometimes that’s all you get, though.

Just as important is honest feedback so that we can help each other grow professionally as business owners.

I truly believe that an equal kindness is the person who is willing to share that honest, constructive feedback along with the “attagirls” and “attaboys.”

But not everyone sees that as a kindness; they think it’s being negative or not being supportive.

For me, I think it’s THE most supportive thing a person can do–truly giving of one’s self and experience, knowledge and perspective to help someone else increase their knowledge and raise their consciousness.

It’s really easy to give pats on the back. What’s not so easy is telling the truth about what you really might think about something even though it might be helpful.

We all worry about hurting someone’s feelings. How many times have you thought, “Gee, I really want to share this with that person, but they (or everyone one) are going to think I’m a know-it-all/negative/mean/unsupportive/fill-in-the-blank?”

But feedback—real, meaningful, useful feedback—is vital to our business growth just as much as encouragement and the attagirls/attaboys.

I wanted to create a community where people who aren’t playing pretend business and have a dream of making real success (and real money) of their business, could not only get encouragement and support, but also that honest feedback from their colleagues that is critical to their growth and success.

For me at least, that’s the greatest kindness I can offer, and it’s what gives my heart the most joy.

Honest thoughts with helpful intentions is NEVER negative.

I know I can be very direct in my writing, and often I simply don’t have the time to play with wording to make sure the delivery comes out perfect and isn’t confused with being harsh or rude.

Hey, I’m working on it, LOL. BUT, I’d rather do that than simply take the easy way out by giving false praise or saying whatever I think someone wants to hear or because that’s what everyone else is saying.

That would absolutely be out of integrity for me.

So let’s not forget about those other kindnesses we can do for each other, and help each other grow and reach beyond comfort zones.

What about you? Have you found yourself ever not contributing your true feedback due to peer pressure? Did taking the easy way out ever bother you?