Today let’s take a brake and celebrate!
Here’s a gift idea for Mother’s Day:
©Image Credit: storefour.ca
The Wealth Maker
Today let’s take a brake and celebrate!
Here’s a gift idea for Mother’s Day:
©Image Credit: storefour.ca
The Wealth Maker
In our post, From Dream to…, we continued the journey we have embarked on to explore different dimensions of the realm of dream delivery.
It’s always good to have dreams, and it’s even better to let them see the light of reality.
We humans have been endowed with very special gifts. Two of those gifts are of inherent importance: Intention and attention.
The conscious human intention is attributed to awareness, something other species don’t have. In the animal kingdom, for example, efforts are solely driven by instinct. We, on the other hand, have the capacity to choose, and then act on our choices, sometimes clear of the influence of instinct.
For an intention to unfold, attention has to be on its side. We need to ‘see’ the way before us, and continuously align our advancement to our intentions. Otherwise, instinct takes charge, leading a way that is not necessarily the same one we set off to traverse. That’s what renders most intentions unrealized. A sure prescription for disappointment.
Our focused attention on the intention should be dynamic. As we keep the original vision clear, crisp and infused in the work we do, we consistently observe the activities, making sure they align and have a good potential of leading to our intention. Why a ‘good potential?’ Because the future is, by its very nature, uncertain. We need to keep our options open at all times in the face of the unpredictable.
No matter how big and far an intention seems, reaching the top of that mountain is simply a walk; one step at a time. As important as knowing our intention is figuring out what those ‘steps’ are.
Usually, at the beginning it might be difficult to know the steps and how they align to lead to the desired result. We need a good estimate of the main building blocks of the ‘project’ at hand. As we start taking action, more details unfold, helping us adjust our course.
Depending on the complexity of the undertaking, this might grow into a quite large web of interrelated activities. That’s where project management methods and tools would come in handy.
Pick the system that makes sense to you. As this may become a daily companion, try selecting something that is fun and exciting to use.
I use a tool called Quire. Simple and effective. You can start with a single idea, then grow it into a plan by breaking it down into smaller ideas gradually, nestling levels of complexity within each other, in a parent-child configuration. This helps you focus on one thing at a time without losing sight of the bigger context immediately above it, or all the way back to the original single idea.
At any given point in time, you can see what is due today, tomorrow, and later, as well as what is overdue from previous stages.
How can that lead to realizing a dream? What if we get swamped by the details and lose sight of what we really want to achieve?
It’s possible to get derailed, ending up in a perpetual cycle of to-do lists that do not seem to finish. A common reality of so many people all over the planet.
To effectively avoid that, we must have our attention on the intention at all times. For example, we can commit to weekly, monthly, and annual alignment reviews, making sure what we do on a daily basis does not sway our ship adrift from the destination.
In the next post we will conclude this series with an example that links the dots together, in a way that help streamline the implementation of the concept.
The Wealth Maker
Image Credit: Todd Quackenbush on Unsplash
We all wonder if our dreams are ‘legit,’ possible, or even ‘acceptable.’ And as we explored in our previous post, Dream or Reality? some of us dismiss a dream right in the cradle of first imagination, simply because it fails those random checks.
In that article, we established that believing a dream is possible represents the first step in realizing it. Then we moved to set intentions and stoped at the ‘how’ question.
Let’s continue our exploration together, delving deeper into recognizing and understanding the inner and outer dynamics of delivering a dream from concept to reality.
The way our universe works is simple and complex, at the same time. On the one hand, if we approach life like a feather in the wind, without a vision, we may very likely land somewhere we didn’t expect. On the other, if we do have a vision, but lack the will and the momentum to see it through to manifestation, we may live with frustration, and at times, guilt.
Starting from a clear intention sets the stage for asking: How can this intention be realized? At the first glance, it will most probably feel overwhelming, which is pretty natural. However, as we look closer and clarify the result we aim to reach, the means to that end start to reveal themselves. At this point, we don’t have to figure out all the details, but only a few to get started.
What are those details? that’s relative to the intention at hand. Usually the building blocks of a successful ‘project,’ if you will.
In other words, grinding down that original idea into as fine a detail as possible makes it more comprehensible. For example, writing and publishing a book may sound like a lot. When we break it down into things like exploring the desired topic, researching potential publishers, understanding the complexity of the work, identifying the main sections of the book, and so on. All of that would steer our focus to a more tangible state of understanding, and eventually ‘doing.’
In project management, every activity must have at least three attributes: Duration, budget, and owner/resources. This applies to any endeavour that sets out to bring an idea from concept to fruition.
It might be hard to accurately find out how long a task would take, or how much it would cost. That’s why it’s essential to keep breaking down ideas into the finest possible, achievable ‘ounces’ of work, each in its respective scope within the overall picture.
In our next post we will discuss how using project management principles and methods can help us realize a rather ‘big’ dream.
The Wealth Maker
We tend to dismiss fresh, wild ideas simply because they seem hard to realize or attain.
What appears impossible today, may very well become possible tomorrow. Technology is but one domain where this observation is quite valid. How about our own lives? We can all remember a time when we looked at a situation, a goal, an aspiration, and said: “Boy, that would be great, but it’s out of my reach, it’s impossible.” Then, a few years, days, or dreams later, we see someone else be, have, or do it.
Stretching applies to the soul as it does to the body. A worthy vision deserves our best, doesn’t it? And we all agree that our best is not where we are at this point. It lies in the open, unknown range before our eyes, our real sight.
I came across this quote by Hellen Keller while reading On Fire by John O’Realy: “The most pathetic person in this world is someone who has sight, but has no vision.” However, a vision that stays locked down in a notebook, or hung on a wall is only worth the page or the wall it’s written on.
How can we translate a dream into reality? This question is as old as time. Yet, the answer is ever new and unique to each and every one of us. What if we dare to ask: “What if?” Would new possibilities open up in our hearts and minds? That, my friend, is the first, and most crucial step in fulfilling a dream!
Now that we’ve established the belief that our dream is “possible,” it’s time to stretch into new parts of possibility. Unkown territories of thought and action. Regions we’ve never dared to step into so far. A lofty dream calls for a daring mission, uncomfortable undertakings. One is answering the question: “What is it that I really want?” We need to get down to some details, but not too much at this point.
When it comes to manifestation, one must be clear, and positive. Surprisingly enough, we manifest what we want as much as what we do not want! The dynamics are the same. The only difference is the ‘not’ factor:)
Clarity goes a long way to affect the quality of the results we get. That’s why it’s important to write down that which we really want. Chances are if you don’t write it, you won’t get it. How can we achieve something we never admit we want. It’s the inner chamber of thoughts and feelings that matters here, not the ‘world’ view of what we aim to manifest.
When we write something down, new brain pathways start to emerge, especially if we use a pen/pencil and paper. Our mids are sensitive to action as well as thoughts and emotions. The wording is very important, too. “I don’t want to fail” leads to different results than “I intend to succeed.” Here we start to see the effect of negative statements. An even better goal would look like: “I intend to get an A in math this semester.” While the first intention is positive, it’s rather vague for the mind to start working on. The second, however, points clearly to the target.
We will delve into the ‘how’ in the next post. In the meantime, see if you can write down one or two of your dreams following these guidelines. Would be awesome if you’d share what you’ve written so we’d work together on turning a goal into a realistic action plan. Please use the comment section if you feel comfortable sharing.
The Wealth Maker
We all have dreams. Some visual and crisp. Some vague.
Why dream? It’s in our nature. It’s part of being human.
Dreams have the power to manifest, only if we allow them to.
Let’s say a pressing need compels you to take some action. Once the dust settles, you catch your breath and think: How can I use this experience? How can I improve the situation so I wouldn’t have to take those actions, but something else?
Needs are powerful influencers. They demand responses, right now.
We can not change a situation that has reached that stage. However, we do have the choice to alter the course of life experiences before they get out of hand.
Here is an example.
It’s mid-July and the AC decides to take a vacation. Now that everyone around the house is in agony, you rush to the phone and ask for immediate help from a professional. Most of us have been there.
At that stage of the situation, we can’t sit back and say: Guys, let’s take it easy. How about some deep breathing?
That does not work.
Nonetheless, had we maintained the AC regularly, the instant of break down would not have occurred (yes, there is still a chance, but not as probable).
When we dream, whether consciously or unconsciously, we are in a realm beyond pressing needs. Rather, it is the realm of possibility. You see the difference? Attending to an emergency is usually driven by an immediate need. Dreaming, on the other hand, is seeing the fulfillment of inherent, but not urgent, needs that define who we are.
Most dreams die before they grasp a glimpse of light. Why? We discount them as simply ‘impossible,’ without a second thought. We deny ourselves the possibility of a new adventure. The prospect of navigating uncharted parts of our inner and outer universes.
Have you tried? What if contemplating a wild gut feeling hides behind its apparent uncertainty the potential of reaching unthought of levels of fulfillment? How would we know unless we give it the benefit of the doubt?
We will continue exploring this topic in the coming posts. It’s one of the most essential pillars of living a full life. Why? Without dreams, we drift from one emergency to another. We waste our most precious resources aimlessly. That’s absolutely not what we are here for.
The Wealth Maker
For years and years, and since the dawn of the Industrial Revolution, workers had only had one work scenario: Report to work at 9:00 AM, do the tasks assigned by your direct manager, and leave at 5:00 PM.
The advent of the Internet, and especially the recent proliferation of mobile data, have brought about another revolution, which we wouldn’t call the Information Revolution. That has taken its course since the invention of the first computer. It is handing over the keys to something new and disturbing. A combination of multimedia communication anytime, anywhere, social media, broadband network coverage, and devices that can handle unthinkable amounts of data in real-time, have made it possible for a new phenomenon to emerge: The Digital Worker.
The dynamics of ‘work’ have dramatically changed for a large sector of the workforce.
The ‘Digital Worker’ no longer needs to report to work at 9:00 AM and leave at 5:00 PM. He/she does not even need a traditional workspace: An office, a cubicale, or even a desk. All they need is a ‘machine’ and an Internet connection. Hence the new terminology: Anywhere, Anytime.
Teams can meet virtually. Projects may have members in Iceland, South Africa, India, Canada, or South Korea. And those are just examples to convey what ‘anywhere, anytime’ looks like.
How about products and services? Physical products that consumers request. How can that be achieved digitally?
A new e-Commerce model has emerged, which is called drop-shipping. The Digital Worker runs an online ‘store,’ which show products’ images, specs, videos, prices, and of course, digital cart and checkout facilities.
Customers place orders right at the digital store. In the background, suppliers receive those orders automatically, once placed, process and fulfill them on behalf of the Digital Worker, right to the customer’s doorstep. Read more about this model in a previous TWM post: How to Choose the Right Product.
To offer a service, Digital Workers must be highly innovative. Let’s take medicine as an extreme example, which has always required the physical co-presence of the patient and the heathcare provider.
Well, that is no longer a rigid requirement. Telemedicine has soften that need by allowing doctors and patients to communicate virtually, in realtime. Physicians can diagnose and prescribe remotely. On the farside of the spectrum, a surgeon would perform an operation via telemedicine, using virtual reality and robotics technologies. You can read more about telemedicine in a previous WTM article: Reaching Out to Patients: Telemedicine.
It is hard to comprehensively cover all aspects of The Digital Worker’s attributes, work environment, rewards and challenges, in one article.
In the next post, we will explore with you the last two aspecs mentioned above: Rewards and challenges.
© Image Credit: Photo by Jesus Kiteque on Unsplash
We, humans, use time and space to measure change, or the rate of change. The units differ depending on what we measure. Astronomers use light years, builders use meters, and quantum physicists use nanoseconds. No matter the unit, change is constant, within and without us. Furthermore, time is a concept represented by space. Have you ever seen or touched a minute?
Some changes happen regardless of our observation. Others force us to listen and have our eyes wide-open. What change has made you stop and think deeply, lately?
Resisting change is a common human mental habit. Other creatures flow with change in the environment surrounding them. Have you heard of a tree resist shedding its leaves in October to grow new ones in March? Or a flock of birds decides to stay in Alaska after the first sign of winter?
Whether we see change as an opportunity and flow with it, or consider it a threat and strive to prevent it from happening, most changes are natural and inevitable.
In business, change always hit the three vital elements of a project or a venture: Time, cost and resources. These three are interrelated in ways that are sometimes mysterious. Shorten the time, and cost goes up. ‘Restructure’ the organization, and time extends on its own terms.
What we must stay fully aware of is the following:
When you plan anything, make sure all variables involved are on the table.
What does that entail?
My intention in this post is not to give you a project management crash course. You can find ample resources online and off-line on that. The intention is to raise our awareness, in life and in business, of the changes passing through our lives without us noticing, appreciating and effectively utilizing them.
One way to approach this is to start a journey of raising our awareness of both attention and intention.
While one’s attention could easily sway and wonder, following the feed of the five senses, and the flood of unguided thoughts and feelings, this can dramatically change if that attention follows a well-thought-of intention.
Attention could be the most valuable gift we’ve been given. It’s like a beam of light that we can focus on anything we want, intentionally or unintentionally. And that is the key lesson here:
Let’s choose, as much as we can, to focus the beam of our attention intentionally.
However, to do that, we need to have intentions, to begin with, don’t we?
How to set good intentions will require its own post. For now, it suffices to say that each one of us needs to set aside enough time and positive energy to know, write, and commit to a set of intentions that spans the dimensions of his or her life and business (as if they are separate 🙂
As that evolves, and as we re-shift our attention to be more and more inline with the intentions we’ve set to ourselves, those passing changes I mentioned above will become visible and accessible.
In conclusion, accepting change as a fact of our being, and then using the energy it presents to reach higher levels of awareness and achievement, is a prerequisite to true success.
The image below shows a recent addition to our StoreFour‘s Digital collection (a positive change), in case you’d like to use a new technology to measure time in conjunction with your cell phone.
Life is a journey worth taking, even though none of us has been given the choice to take it or not. Now that we are here, in it, let’s explore together some aspects that would make this inevitable journey enjoyable, as well as rewarding.
Remember learning to ride your first bike, competing with your classmates, working hard to get your first paycheck? None of those, and million other things, you’ve achieved or endured, would have seen the light without the jewel of all virtues: Patience!
Yet, patience alone is not enough, especially if it was serving the wrong dream; something that would lead to agony instead of joy, to disappointment not satisfaction. But do we always pick and choose what to bear and what not? A sudden illness, the death of a loved one, natural disasters, the list is long, very long.
Here comes another weapon in the face of the unfortunate: Persistence. One could be patient, but that patience is short-lived, fleeting as soon as the squeeze of the situation gets firmer. I’m not talking hypothetically, but rather factually.
Persistence is staying the course, no matter what it takes. Tough? You bet! Nevertheless, and most of the time, behind that mountain of toughness there would be a meadow of peace.
Now you might ask: Where do I get the momentum, the positive energy to be patient and persistent? You need a purpose you believe in. And that is the third element: Faith.
Without unwavering faith in what you do, and where you’re going, it’s almost impossible to endure patience, let alone persistence. Faith gives you the capacity to ‘see’ what’s beyond that which seems ugly and impossible. It gives a feeling of assurance and an enriching sense of possibility, of reaching that which you’ve been striving to reach.
In the next story we will talk about tips that would enhance our ability to attain and maintain these three vital life endowments: Patience, Persistence and Faith.
P.S. This post has also been published on Medium.com under Yaman Saleh, Owner of TWM
One of my favorite books on leadership is the late Stephen Covey’s: The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.
Covey’s articulation is top-class. He convinces you that there are two almost independent spheres: One for the leader and another for the manager. Could one person juggle between the two? Covey didn’t particularly recommend that, stressing that a leader should not be consumed by the day-to-day details of the business. Rather, he or she should be totally focused on vision, mission and long-term objectives.
While this can be true in corporations, when it comes to small businesses and entrepreneurship, the lines between the two worlds become rather blurry.
One day, your main focus would be on the five-year strategy of your marketing plan, the next you find yourself under a desk plugging Ethernet cables, or sorting out receipts of recent purchases. And that is the beauty of the whole thing, of the one-man-show adventure. That’s how it starts, and sometimes, that’s how it continues to run. Having said that, I do strongly recommend starting with a credible partner, who would stick with you the whole journey. Loneliness could be tough when the winds are not behind your sails.
In the previous article, Risk and Reward: The Two Vital R’s of Business, we talked about how an entrepreneur must evaluate their RT before delving into the ocean of business on their own. Here we explore how that is tested on the ground, in the midst of it. Now you know how much risk you can bear in order to reap a reward you had seen before you started!
On the lighter side of things, one would need suits and overhauls in their closets. Black, shiny shoes and thick, sturdy work boots. Fine perfumes and grease-cleansing hand soap.
This is not living two personalities. On the contrary, this is extracting the best of your God-given talents and putting them on the line.
Switching between the two roles becomes natural over time. A new, well-rounded personality, rooted in a character of offering true value and sincerity, evolves out of the continuous interaction with challenges and finding intelligent solutions.
Another aspect of this dual responsibility/multiple hats dynamic is being able to focus entirely on the one task at hand, no matter how different the previous or the next task would be. For example, you could be in a meeting with business stakeholders to discuss your product strategy. While in that crucial meeting, you remember that afterwards you must take care of an urgent maintenance issue in the office. The stakeholders meeting calls for your leadership presence, while the maintenance problem requires handyman skills. Being able to focus and then shift is key here. You could think of other interesting and fun examples that fall into the same realm.
Is there a special training for such interactive talent? I don’t think so. The best training is on the job, by actually trying, making mistakes, and learning, till the pool of skills is honed to almost perfection.
The Wealth Maker
We are risk takers by nature, all of us, in varying degrees. But marching into the unknown is a human instinct that manifests itself in obvious, as well as mysterious ways. Every hour of every day we take risks. You may allow your mind to explore this idea and find examples. Traveling to a new country, hiking an unmarked trail, buying a gift for a loved one, tasting a weird- smelling food, going to war, getting married, asking for forgiveness, climbing the Himalayas, camping, skiing, driving, falling in love, leaving home, and doing nothing is also a form of taking risk, yet indirectly.
For the sake of our topic, let’s narrow down that endless list to just one: Starting your own business and deciding to become an entrepreneur.
Why do people leave the comfort and security of a guaranteed pay-check, and go on their own? For starters, that comfort has become unattainable lately. Downsizing, mergers, acquisitions, financial crisis, to name a few, have made job security a thing of the past.
But that is not the main reason entrepreneurs go out and face the world alone. It is something within each and every one, a calling if you will. I bet you’ve heard this before and you might be thinking: “OK, a calling, but what is the percentage of success of that calling? Show me the money!”
True, no matter how strong a calling was, and how enthusiastic the person would be, a business venture must yield financial results. In other words: Money 🙂
That’s why, before delving in the ocean of entrepreneurship, one must evaluate few traits that are vital to making that journey a pleasant and fruitful one.
So what are those traits? The first that comes to mind is risk tolerance. I’ve talked about this, giving it an acronym of RT in several posts about investing, and it still applies here, probably more so. A low RT isn’t going to help here. A very high one would result in taking too much risk, and again that is dangerously dangerous 🙂
We are looking for a healthy RT, which on one hand drives the entrepreneur to explore new, uncharted frontiers, most of the time alone and with little knowledge and tools, and on the other, keeps him/her aware of the potential challenges, and do enough research and preparation ahead of, during and after taking the risk. What is that called in plain English? Wisdom combined with courage. And in eloquent English: Courageously wise or wisely courageous 🙂
The heart of our discussion here is the following:
‘Risk and Reward are proportional: The more risk one takes, the higher the probability of reward. The opposite seems to be true, most of the time.’
Let’s start with a simple example: If you decided not to teach your four-year old child how to ride a bike, fearing the risk of injury, you denied him/her the rewards that come with riding a bike. One of them is innocent joy!
To get any reward, we must do something, right? And any doing involves taking a risk, no matter how small. That’s why they are related proportionally.
Raise the level of one, the other gets a boost. The challenge is to find that threshold where raising too much would result in unwanted results rather than rewards. And that threshold differs depending on the situation.
In the example above, rushing the learning curve increases the risk of injury. Taking the matter way too slow may delay the reward or even prevent it from happening.
We need to be patient with the whole process. We start by taking small risks and observe our emotional and mental reactions, just like building, you start with a foundation, then keep adding to it.
Another aspect of this building process is appreciating the results, no matter how small.
When it comes to building a new business enterprise, the principle would be the same, however, the application is different.
Does that mean you start with a tiny little venture then expand gradually? That’s one way to approach it. Say open an online store with only one product line, give it your best till it starts making profit, then add a second product line, and so on.
Nevertheless, if you know that your RT is high enough to get into bigger business adventures, especially if you know you have good financial and practical backing by trusted partners, then you may want to create a vision that would lead to more aggressive plans. For example, starting an eCommerce platform, where small business owners can open their one-product-line stores.
The web is full of tools and articles on how to assess your RT level. Here’s one, which I have no affiliation with, and can’t guarantee its results, but you may want to give it a shot, or look for something else in that line of tools:
In conclusion, know thyself before starting a new business. The time, money and energy spent doing that is worth the clarity that result from being aware where your next step will hit the ground.
All the best,
The WEalth MAker