Archive for December, 2010

Recommendations for creating your life of choice in 2011

December 7, 2010

At this time of year, it is very easy to focus on what didn’t work this year, rather than the things that did work! Particularly when the market is tight and we try different things as well as our usual things and not everything has immediate results!

Sometimes we seem to have so little to show for all the work we have done, the networking events we have attended, the new friends we have made and of course those wonderful “old” friends that we are still connected to and at times neglect. Yet networking is often like planting a garden of seeds, some sprout faster than others, just like friendships and business opportunities. Some days you get connected to a third-party, who has an instant need for your services. Other days, you follow-up, keep in touch, email, blog, connect and just seem to hit brick walls. Never fear  – a new year is here.

My strategy when I seem to hit more than my fair share of brick walls in any one month is to take a day or morning off and focus on ME – not my business. Here’s a list I work through on one of those ME days:

1. What things really make me happy – no matter how simple they are. Make a minimum list of 100 and resolve to do at least 3 of these things each day for the next 21 days.

2. Describe what your life of choice looks like – if it is not quite what you are doing now. Be as explicit as possible – paint that picture in your mind and turn those pictures into words on the page. Then make a list of how you will know when we have created that life of choice. Sometimes when we are busy/busy – we forget why we are doing what we are doing and what the end game plan really is!

3. Diarise regular ME days – don’t wait until you are in overload to put your first. Mark those dates now – before you need them.

4. Commit to watching your language – replace “I have to” with “I choose to”.

5. Realise that it’s okay to make a mistake, as long as you learn from your mistakes.

6. Plan to introduce a daily habit of acknowledging your WIN for the day – what was your win for the day? – no matter how insignificant it may seem. My win for today – was seeing an amazing full rainbow over the horizon. Had I not gone for the early morning walk, I would have missed it totally. But what a brilliant way to start the day – and it was only 6.30 a.m! Nature is full of amazing sights, when we slow down enough to observe them.

It’s got to be a good day when you have had your WIN by 6.30 a.m.

7.  Practise saying NO without feeling guilty. I have a note on my calendar – say no nicely!  It’s hard sometimes to stick to that one – but long-term, it’s one way of clearing clutter and over-commitment in our lives.

8. How much is enough for the next 12 months? It’s great to reflect on the increase in overheads that is often connected to the increase in income. Sometimes the profit is much greater from doing less than doing more – again something to reflect on and discuss with your accountant before you over commit for the next 12 months.

9. Is there a current situation in your life, that would not be acceptable to your son or daughter, but it’s okay for you?

Why is that? and more importantly what example are you setting for your children by accepting poor behaviour?

10. And your final question for your ME session – if this is as good as it gets, is this good enough?

Sometimes these ME sessions make you squirm, feel uneasy and uncomfortable. That’s all part of the process – hang in there – you will feel better. You see this morning, before I saw the brilliant full rainbow, I had already walked through about 5 minutes of rain. And I was tossing up, will I turn back? will I keep going? Finally, I decided, Robyn it’s only water, it won’t kill you, just keep walking – a bit of rain never hurt anyone.

Within 2 minutes the rain had stopped and the rainbow appeared.  I got the message.

And just like the old Hawaiian proverb – no rain, no rainbow, tough times do pass. And they make our networks and our connections stronger – not to mention the better person we become as we find solutions to our challenges.

Wishing you lots of rainbows in the 2011!

PS And when its cloudy, take your umbrella – just in case.

 

 

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Recommendation – compulsory happiness testing for all taxi drivers

December 7, 2010

 

2011  recommendation – compulsory happiness testing for all taxi drivers. I know happy taxi drivers do exist. I once met one. A wonderful 30 year taxi elder called Bob.  Bob loved meeting and chatting to new people all day. His motto – “As long as my taxi is moving and there is a paying passenger in the taxi, I am making money.”

This week I think I met the leader of the unhappy taxi driver movement.

As a frequent traveller, my taxi trips are determined by the client and workload – one taxi fare recently from Sydney domestic terminal to an outer Sydney suburb was over $150.00. And like all jobs, you take the good jobs with the not so good jobs – some there is great profit, other not so. That’s life!

Picture this – Sydney domestic terminal. The taxi waiting queue was short for a change, and as I hopped into the taxi, I told the driver I had two stops, one to the airport hotel where I would drop my bags off, and then on to XYZ in O’Riordan Street – about 10 blocks from the hotel. Immediately he mumbled something jumped out of the taxi and made furious hand signals to the taxi controller – I assume the interpretation – please make a note I have just got a lousy fare. He then proceeded to speed up, slam his brakes on and mumble.

My strategy is always to ignore this behavior. And ponder if he is driving faster, then won’t that mean we get to the location faster and his fare would be less than it would be if he just drove normally – but I digress.

“Where did you come from today?” – he grunted and I responded.

“Humph,  just you wait, we’re lobbying and a year from now – maybe sooner – there is going to be a flat rate for short fares – a minimum fare of $30/ $40 – you wait until then. You just won’t be able to get from A to B like you do today. You just wait. YOU – will have to get a train or a bus – no taxis for you – unless you want to pay $40.00 for the trip – it’s coming in all because of people like you. I hate short fare passengers!” Thanks for sharing I thought to myself!

I pictured a cartoon bubble with the image of me boarding a local bus with my two heavy suitcases and my many short fare friends, while hundreds of taxis are lined up waiting for long fares and the taxi warden with a big tape measure – checking our fare length. It did bring a smile to my face – though I did choose to ignore his comments, which just made him madder as he braked and sped up.

By the time I dropped the bags at the hotel, checked in, arranged for the porters to take the bag to the room, and drove 10 blocks to my appointment – the meter read $16.2o. Normally I would round it up and add a few dollars as a tip. Not today – I counted out the exact fare and asked for a receipt.

I wonder – without short fare passengers, how much income would taxi drivers lose?

Or are taxi drivers like every other business  – there are great jobs, good jobs and not so good jobs. If someone phones, emails or orders one of my books online – – there is a fulfillment system – process payment/receipt, hand written note for inclusion, pack order, address label, decide courier or post office (based on P.O. box or street address) , dispatch.

It takes as much effort to dispatch one book as it does to dispatch a carton of books (50). Obviously I would love to dispatch cartons of books all days, but those orders are the cream – just like my $150 plus Sydney airport to north-west Sydney  fare is not a trip i take every day.  But without all those single book sales, I would not sell as many books as I do. And I would much rather be packing single book orders than not receive book orders at all.

So maybe those angry short fare hating taxi drivers, should take that happiness test in the New Year.

Question 1 will read –  How happy are you most of the time in your taxi driver position?

– On a scale of 1 to 5 – 1 being dislike strongly and 5 being love to bits. –  If they rate 1 or 2, maybe its time to seek out a new job – wherever that may take them.  Or maybe, they could ask around and find a 20 or 30 year taxi driving elder – like Bob – who has survived in the industry for 30 years, because as long as the taxi is moving with a paying passenger inside – he is making money. Bob would definitely answer 5 to Question 1  and might just be able to give Mr. I Hate Short Fare Passengers – a lesson in customer service while he is at it.

My wish for you is that you meet lots of veteran Bobs in the taxis you hail during the coming holiday season!