Better Together: Who’s on your Team for Success?

A few years ago, a tax preparation company used “You’ve got people!” as a tagline. Their TV commercials showed a satisfied client bragging “I’ve got people,” confident and at ease that they had a trusted tax experts in their corner. This really resonated with me, having just retired from corporate life to launch an “encore career” of coaching, change management consulting, and teaching. It became quickly clear to me that going solo doesn’t mean going it alone. We ALL need help from others.

Corporate life offers infrastructure that is often taken for granted – office space, structure, steady work flow, and a regular paycheck with benefits. Support for payroll, accounting, IT, and HR are all taken care of by the “mother ship” employer. Replacing all those benefits and services required me to either do it myself or “outsource” (ask for help).

Outsourcing those things I don’t know how to do, am not good at, or are outside my core business focus led to creation of my professional “Team for Success.” I sought and engaged professional help from a CPA, a web designer, a financial advisor and (of course) a coach. A sense of relief comes from knowing “I’ve got people!”

A Team for Success can be much more than just tactical, transactional vendor-client relationships. The Team for Success should also be of strategic importance, by partnering with trusted colleagues who do similar or complementary work for brainstorming, collaboration, and especially for referrals. And, this means you also are on the other’s Team for Success, too, adding value for everyone by strengthening and extending networks.

You probably have a Team for Success of your own in some measure right now. Think what might happen if you take a more formal approach to develop your team. If this concept intrigues you, I offer some actions to consider:

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  1. Be curious. Honestly assess your current situation. Who are your “people” now, on your current team?
  2. Determine gaps. What skill set, expertise, tools, information or support would be most helpful? Where are you block or feeling stuck?  What do you really want? (See my earlier blog about Asking for Help)
  3. Ask for help. Identify who you want on your success team,  then get their support. Paid or unpaid, formal or informal, seek and receive assistance by hiring, bartering, partnering, or networking. (Remember: “don’t ask, don’t get!”)
  4. Reciprocate. Whose success team are you on? Whose team do you want to join? Where can you bring value and be of service?  Offer to be on their team.
  5. Rinse, Repeat. Continue developing your own Team for Success. It’s a process not an event. [/box]

No matter the context of life, great satisfaction can come from confidently saying “I’ve got people!”

So, who are your “people”– your Team for Success?

 

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What’s Your Money Story?

Money is a powerful concept. Just think of all the ways in which most of us give our attention to money – how we earn it, manage it, account for it, save it, spend it, worry about it, and even give it away. Not surprisingly, many of us have unquestioned limiting beliefs about money. We may even hold judgments about the relationships others have with their money – rich or poor, lavish spenders, or overly frugal.

In The Energy of Money, author Dr. Maria Nemeth challenges readers to create a personal “money autobiography” by writing a description of our lifelong experience of money, from earliest memories to now. She suggests that what we observed and learned about money from our earliest memories informs our money beliefs as adults. What a sobering exercise! My money autobiography showed me how my own Money Story – my current beliefs about money – was very much shaped by my parents’ beliefs about money.

My folks were members of “The Greatest Generation.” They were kids during the depths of the Great Depression and were young adults during WWII. (Keywords: Lack, Scarcity, Limitation, Rationing, Distrust, Secrecy, Hardship, Doing-without.) Understandably, they saw the world as generally an unfriendly place; money was hard to come by and to be protected at all costs. For them, the glass often looked half full. I acknowledge that I didn’t experience the hugely challenging times they endured growing up. Different life experience means different worldview, so I see and experience the world differently – as a generally friendly place of abundance that is full of choices and opportunities. For me, the glass is more than half full. (Keywords: Abundance, Generous Universe, Win-Win, Flow, Creativity, Generative)

I felt uncomfortable, even a little disloyal, in questioning differences in our belief systems. Working with my own Coach, I concluded that embracing my own true personal beliefs is not disrespectful of elders nor does it invalidate their experiences. Rather, this simply means making a personal choice to mindfully notice the beliefs I hold, discern if they are true for me now, and then change them by creating a more personally authentic Money Story of my own. Nobody gets to be wrong!

Coaching is a great way to explore unquestioned limiting beliefs. Not surprisingly, money is a common focus of calls with my coaching clients. I invite them to examine their own Money Story – its origins, benefits and limitations. Often they decide a substantial re-write of their own Money Story is in order to craft a more modern, accurate and congruent set of personal beliefs around money.

It’s not easy to uproot lifelong beliefs. Friends and family members may not feel comfortable or supportive of such changes at first, or ever. But I suggest that there are few things that are more satisfying than feeling more authentic, aware, and aligned with one’s own values and beliefs. So, what’s your Money Story?

[box] 10 questions to help create YOUR new Money Story:

  1. What was the financial circumstance of your childhood?
  2. What messages about money can you recall when you were young?
  3. In what ways do you think your current financial situation relates to that of your family of  origin?
  4. What is one assumption or belief about money that no longer serves you well?
  5. What might be a desired outcome of embracing a new personal Money Story?
  6. By changing your Money Story, what are you saying “yes” to?
  7. By changing your Money Story, what are you saying “no” to?
  8. If you want to ask for some help with this, who would be supportive and non-judgmental of you as you explore?
  9. When will you begin?
  10. How will you know your new money story is accurate and truly your own?

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Receiving Help as an Act of Generosity

Asking For Help

I’m changing my mind about asking for or accepting help, when I need it. What I learned growing up was be needless/wantless, be self-sufficient, be self-reliant, and never be beholden to anyone. I equated asking for or receiving help as freeloading, a sign of weakness, or of poverty. “Who are you to have needs, with so many other people in the world in much worse need?” That’s how it landed for me, anyway. After 50+ years of living with those rules, I decided it was time to find a better feeling perspective.

So, working with my coach (yep, I have a coach too!), I discovered there is another more satisfying perspective for me to explore about asking for and receiving help.  We all can use some help sometimes. She asked me “how do you feel when you are asked for help by someone else?”  Hmmm.  “Well, generally, I really like being asked to help, sometimes even honored,” I replied. “It feels good to be able to assist someone.”  (BTW, neuroscience calls it the “helper’s high” – actually a chemical buzz from showing kindness or compassion to another.)  Then my coach asked me, “So, doesn’t it follow that if someone offers help I need or if I ask someone for help they, too, might feel good by my allowing and accepting their help?” Great point!

A Coach’s Skillful Guidance

With a coach’s skillful guidance, my new understanding of my assumptions about offering and receiving help is three-fold. First, I feel rebuffed when I offer help and it is declined or ignored, so maybe they do too?  Second, I found that I was fearful of the answer – whether yes or no!  And third, I see how being overly invested in “looking good” as needless/wantless and low-maintenance keeps me from connecting and moving ahead in life.  Ick.  As Joe Weston, author of an amazing new book “Mastering Respectful Confrontation” says, being vulnerable is actually a very powerful place in which to stand.

Okay, there are always exceptions to this.  But in most instances, my own new perspective on receiving help – whether requested or offered – is that accepting help can have outcomes much greater than the help offered.  It can engage connection with another, even when the help is not granted or ultimately received, and it also can be an act of great generosity.

It feels good to share my journey on asking for and receiving help. Thanks for reading this far.  And if any of this resonates with you or brings up some curiosity about your own beliefs, here are some Coach’s Inquiries to mull:

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  • Where can you really use some help, big or small, right now?
  • Who do you know who can help you?
  • What might be generous about asking them for help?
  • What if they say “no?”
  • What if they say “yes?”
  • Can you take “yes” for an answer?[/box]

This is a great example of ways in which working with a professional coach can help shift perspectives, to live more powerfully and with greater connection. Why not contact me today to set up a complementary 30 minute consultation call to explore ways that I may be of service?  (You might even want to ask me for help!)

 

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