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...

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...

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,...