Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Project: Aha! Moment

The end of the year is here and like those that have put holiday shopping off are freaking out, those that have put off their dreams are freaking out as well. Just two weeks until the new year, a few short days, and so many people are saying they haven’t achieved anything. It’s the final countdown and:

They’ve not lost any weight.
They’ve not yet graduated.
They’ve not scored the pot of gold.
They’ve not landed the perfect relationship.
They’ve not made partner.
They’ve surely not acquired the diamond.
They’ve not __________.

What have you not? I’m sure you can fill in the blank above with your own not.

But the aha! moment has no time restrictions. It has no respect for locations.

It comes when and where it pleases. In the middle of your dreams, during the shower. It hits you subtly; it hits you like a grand piano from the skyscraper above in a Looney tunes cartoon. Your feet affixed to the ground, your eyes transfixed to the behemoth coming closer and closer until suddenly what was just a thought, something you were flirting with in the back of your mind becomes a very real decision.

We’ve all failed this year. We all have had an idea. We’ve all had an idea we wanted to pursue, but other problems arose, and we’ve persuaded ourselves these were more prevalent.

Sometimes that decision is taken away from you. Because now you are stuck under a grand piano, under your grand idea.

Maybe 2014 has been a series of delays but writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry reminds us A GOAL WITHOUT A PLAN IS JUST A WISH. Without his plans, his success would not have been discovered.

Our Decembers are not our last chance to fulfill the end of quarter potential. They should, like every other day, be viewed as a first chance. Every day we can reevaluate our goal and put into effect a plan. So no matter what didn’t happen the three-hundred some days behind us, we have still have December 16th, and we still have an Ah ha! moment that needs to be implemented.

This December 16th reinvent the definition of your 2014. Forget about all the “Nots” that took place and start planning for a “Nothing Held Back Attitude.”

Give it all you got. Because you’ve got a lot to gain.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Project: Making a List, Checking it Twice

Dear Santa, 

You may mysteriously appear once a year (okay, we now know it’s our parents to deliver presents to toddlers and pubescent children), but if there’s one thing you have taught us it is the importance of lists. We have delusions regarding lists, thinking they overcomplicate life, that they pressure us into feeling we have an insurmountable mountain of tasks to complete with a tight deadline. But I guess that’s why you check it twice. I guess that’s why you delegate to your happy little elves. I guess that’s why you have the big shebang once a year.

 Yours Truly,

 An Impending Entrepreneur 

So maybe we cannot follow the footsteps of Santa. Maybe we cannot live off of cookies and milk, and I don’t know that our daily, year-long work apparel should resemble a velvet red and white suit.

But we should keep a list. Perhaps of several sorts:

  • Inventory Lists – What’s in your closet, on your shelves, in your desk? It’s vital to appreciate the value of belongings. Whether you are in retail or sell your skills, know the “where” and worth of your stock.

  • Client Run-Down Lists – Do you know who you work with, who you work for, who works for you? Do you know what they do for you, what you do for them? When a new employee joins your team having a run-down can help them catch up!

  • Contact Lists – Make sure to keep this updated annually. Sending out virtual, and hard copy messages make all the difference – especially if they reach the right party.

  • Budget Lists – You have either a quarterly or annual one for many departments and creating a list for your wants and what you don’t want anymore is a great way to begin.

  • Bucket Lists – Things to do before the day (week, month or quarter) is over. You choose the measure of time.

  • Motivational Lists – Keep a stockpile of motivational quotes. Trust me. They’re like counting to ten.

  • Weekly To-Do Lists – If you want to get something done, you have to remember what it is. No matter how often we think we won’t forget something; inevitably we forget it within an hour. Tying a string around the finger? That almost requires us tying another string around the finger, so we remember the reason behind the first one. Similar to your bucket list, your weekly to-do list is your routine, the regime of your work culture. Things may be added or subtracted, but it’s what makes the office cycle running so successful and smooth.

So then, why do you think they process so much paper? It’s not just to replicate airplanes.

List making, checking it twice and marking off that which we have completed is called the tracking progress.

  • The power of tracking progress enhances your self-worth, thus your surroundings.
  • The power of tracking progress keeps us accountable to our actions.
  • The power of tracking progress keeps us aware of our wins and where we need to work hard.
  • The power of tracking progress is found in the concept of the Calendar through a list of days keeping us in order.

Our life is comprised of lists. See for yourself how nice it is to complete a task as you let the power of tracking be a positive thing.

-The Green Couch

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Project: When On The Side Becomes On The Forefront

There are certain things in life that are a matter of legality. When we are young, we must follow a set of rules. Until a certain age, we must do certain things and until a certain age we cannot do things.

During that time, we may rebel the system: Our parents, politics and any system of power seems to be against us and our dreams.

Sometimes we feel as if there is never a choice.

We get up.
We shower.
We get changed.
We eat.
We go to school
We come home.
We do our homework.
We eat.
We go to bed.
We get up.
We shower.
We get changed.
We eat.
We got to school.
We come home.
We do our homework.
We eat.
And we repeat this process for years. 
Until we reach that pinnacle where we get to move out of mom and dad’s house and live this lifestyle at a more mature level; on a college campus.

We get up…a little later than we should.
We shower…when time permits.
We get changed…when we remember to do laundry.
We eat…ramen noodles.
We go to school…because it is the right, expected thing to do.
We come home…to our home away from home.
We eat…more ramen noodles
We go to bed…on an unmade bed.
This goes on for months, semesters, perhaps years. However, deep down there is no majors or minors that can fulfill that dream of ours. And we are reminded of several brilliant people who while they may be billionaires their brilliance, their passion supersede their savings account:

  • Bill Gates, Microsoft
  • Mark Zuckerburg, Facebook
  • Ralph Lauren, Fashion Designer
  • Many more and maybe you

It is because of them that what was on the side – their dreams, their passions, their vocation – became their forefront.

Maybe it is our day-jobs, maybe it is the pursuit of a degree, only we can know. But there comes a time we have to reevaluate the priorities of life and take the leap and live the life of a risk taker if we want to live the life of an entrepreneur.

What is your “On-The-Side?”

-The Green Couch 

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Project: Dr. Seuss’ Advice on Risks and Rewards

Between his made-up words, make-believe worlds and tongue twisters – and even his fictitious doctoral title and multiple pseudonyms – we associate him as a child’s leader. He is our loveable, well known Dr. Seuss.

Dr. Seuss’ brilliance was destined for children’s literature, but his wisdom encompasses entrepreneurs and all those willing to take a risk. Whether you are diving off the literal or figurative diving board, the climb is the lesser frightening task. It is the first bounce that takes the most might.

Maybe you will have to keep your eyes shut, maybe you will have to summon all your strength. However, when it comes time to ask why you are doing what you are about to do – why or whether you should jump, Seuss has some sage advice:

  • “Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” – Dr. Seuss

That is what always prompts the journey. Right?

  • “Why fit in when you were born to stand out?” – Dr. Seuss

Your dreams are not supposed to align with others’. That’s why they are YOURS.

  • “To the world you may be one person; but to one person you may be the world.” – Dr. Seuss

Your idea may be the next BIG idea. Pursue it and its purpose. The world needs more thinkers who are doers.

  • “Oh, the things you can find if you don't stay behind!” – Dr. Seuss

If life is a risk, do you have what it is to be a taker? Do not let fear keep you from checking out of your comfort zone.

  • “I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.” – Dr. Seuss

Creativity: Breathe it. Live it. Embrace it. Love it.

  • “It is better to know how to learn than to know.” – Dr. Seuss

Be humble and happy to learn from those around you. Satisfaction guaranteed to a wiser you.

  • “You have to be odd to be number one” – Dr. Seuss

Touché! Be bold, bigger than life and go with your gutsy.

What is odd about you? How will you be the world to one person? How will you wake up your brain cells? How will you Seuss up your lifestyle?

-The Green Couch

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Project: 'Tis The Season To Shop Local

We are all going to do it at some point and time this season. Maybe we’ll try to avoid the masses by filling our online carts. Maybe we’ll send a loved one out on Christmas Eve. Either way, 'Tis the season to shop local. And here are

5 Reasons Why It Matters Where You Pull Your Wallet Out:

1. You will be supporting an independently locally owned and operated business - you know, those charming mom and pop shops that line the sidewalks or maybe those empires that bear the last name of the town’s founders - those taxes are re-invested back into your community.

2. You will be supporting the successful employment rate in your community and create energy among farms, organizations, schools and families for continual development.

3. You will become more than a tourist location, recognized as an economically sustainable community.

4. You will make a valuable purchase not just a reasonable purchase. (And will be valued as a customer more, too.) Shopping local encourages the wellbeing of every hand involved from owner to conceptualization, to the manufacturer, to the salesperson to the purchaser to the person receiving the gift. And you are responsible for that.

5. You will have proprietary rights. You are not shopping from a chain or Fortune 500 company; therefore shopping from someone that represents a unique and distinguished brand.

Scotch tape, a roll of wrapping paper a spool of ribbon or two. These things are important. But when you get ready to double check your list, make sure you check off these five things. Stay Local. Shop Local.

Happy Thanksgiving,

-The Green Couch Project