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Show, don’t tell

If you want to attract premium clients, selling won’t work. You have to show why someone should buy from you.

Sure, a high-end customer might be ready to pay, and they may want to commit long-term. Why? Because they trust you. They’ve watched you regularly show up and prove that what you say and do align.

Want better clients? Consistently demonstrate you’re worth investing in.

Become the student

As systems and communities continue to evolve and change, the need to learn and listen is paramount.

Where is the line between advocacy and appropriation, and how can you appreciate groups you’re not a part of?

Appreciation is grounded in honor and respect, a genuine curiosity for a group and its people. This rides on the wings of earnestness; a desire to explore and understand.

Appropriation, however, has personal gain buried into action. Attention-seeking behavior has the power to hurt and harm both individuals and groups. More often than not, a negative stereotype is reinforced.

The divide between cultural appreciation and appropriation is a delicate perimeter outlined by intention.

Failing to identify intention can turn any well-meaning action into a divisive mechanism. If your intention isn’t clear, chances are high that you may unintentionally play into harmful stereotypes.

Revisit the reasons behind what you’re doing and why — and who your behavior might reach. The more you understand yourself and the factors that contribute to the way in which you see the world, the better you’ll be at developing empathy and authentic respect. Once you’ve assessed the role of your actions and your relationship to the culture or group of people you’re interested in, set out to learn.

Bring curiosity and kindness into your interactions. Let others guide conversations. It’s important to remember that having an experience does not equal true understanding. Questions open doors. 

Genuine curiosity and kindness are roots from which appreciation and reverence can blossom. From intention, humility and respect grow.

Change starts with awareness

What has worked in the past might not work now.

Start with your thoughts. Follow them. Make a list of your wishes and fears, doubts and insecurities, the things you want and the conversations you’re having.

And challenge them.

Ask whether the thoughts you’re having are true.

Decide if your conversations are helpful.

Are your doubts and fears based in fact?

Change begins with awareness.

What keeps you going? (4 ways to spark curiosity)

I’ve been asked what keeps me motivated. The question echoes when I pick up a book, stop at a piece of art, choose a film, or marvel at a friend’s project. What drives passion and fuels excitement? Curiosity.

What keeps you going?

I understand when life becomes disenchanting and hard, curiosity isn’t a natural tendency. The ability to become and remain curious is something like a well; a source that gives back with the right attention. Here are four ways you can spark your own curiosity:

Prepare yourself

Curiosity, like creativity, requires space and intention. You have to invite curiosity into your life. It starts with awareness and depends on your ability to observe not only the world around you, but yourself.

Get active

Curiosity requires participation. When you become curious, you no longer passively gaze at photographs or mindlessly consume shows. Curious individuals wonder. They wonder why certain topics are triggers and think of questions to ask creators.

Lose your pride

Curiosity demands that you set aside “expertness” and search for that which you do not know. You might feel silly or out of place, but your questions will direct you to new territories of understanding.

Aim for overexposure

Search for a variety of sources: Books, people, professionals, amateurs, stories, news, programs, Google, teachers, friends, art, songs, podcasts. The more sources you confront, the richer your experiences become.

How do you feed your curiosity? Tweet me @redheadlefthand.

Takeaways from two weeks of “Positive Talk”

14 people from around the world signed up to join me in a small experiment: For two weeks, I would commit to daily discussions focused on Good Things.

I spoke with Italians, Brits, folks in the United States, Sweden, and Nepal. On some days I had to talk myself up for the session; other days I looked forward to thirty minutes of positivity.

At the beginning of each call, I asked participants to rank themselves on a scale of 0 to 10 (0 for on-the-floor depression and 10 for something close to contagious joy). At the end of our call, I asked for another self-ranking. 12 out of the 14 participants reported an increase in positive feelings. The other two reported no change, having already reported high levels of feeling. I, too, found myself feeling better at the end of the calls.

But beyond feeling better, I felt seen. Those thirty minutes became a plug-in of support, encouragement, and connection. Many participants echoed battles with imposter syndrome“Am I good enough, capable enough, strong enough, ready enough, productive enough, gentle enough, prepared enough?” Time management was another expressed hurdle, but it was rephrased as a goal that could be conquered.

And in all of these calls, it became clear that even when the world seems upside down, we have the ability to write our own narratives. We have the choice to fall into old, self-sabotaging coping strategies or tap into traits that can set us up for something greater. We can choose to see ourselves through a compassionate lens, or we can cling to memories that no longer apply. Our stories can become ones of curiosity and growth.

There’s no telling when or if things will return to “normal.” This experiment, however, reminded me there are many things still in our control. We can make time to connect, and we can train our minds to focus on creation, empathy, and compassion — for ourselves and for others. I’m thankful to all those who participated in this experiment with me.

Try for yourself: Set a calendar of participants (ask friends, family, and colleagues), keep a journal of notes, and record pre- and post- rankings for each call. Let me know how it goes.

Who is glamorous?

Glamour isn’t limited to the rich or famous. And it certainly isn’t restricted to fashion, the latest gadgets, jet-setters, or a particular brand of car.

In fact, glamour is essential to attracting what you want, both in business and in life. Infusing your life with glamour brings more serendipity, more passion, and a lot more fun.

What is glamour?

Glamour is mystery. It is grace. It is an energy that requires courage and an element of risk. Glamour demands that you see yourself — and the world around you — as limitless. That each day you walk out the door and wonder what might happen. That you look for opportunity, instead of focusing on lack.

Glamour is desire. And desire leads to stories, surprise, and magic. These things often accompany happiness. Happy people are magnets.

Can I become glamorous?

First you must decide the kind of life you want. And then you must take steps to make it happen.

  1. Weave excitement into your day. Set freshly cut flowers onto a windowsill, crack open a bottle of Chianti, handwrite a note of gratitude, spritz your briefcase or backpack or bag with an energizing scent…
  2. Add mystery. Share enough to intrigue and inspire others, but don’t give too much away. Save some for yourself.
  3. Prioritize details. Edit your life as necessary. Remove excess.
  4. Limit stress. Cultivate calm.
  5. Get intentional. Surround yourself with new ideas, art, creativity, and uplifting conversations.
  6. Be bold. Declare who you are, set your own trends, and let your unique appeal shine.
  7. Fall in love. Find something to fall in love with. Every day. People who are in love are captivating. People who love life inspire others to do the same.
  8. Celebrate. Find reasons to celebrate, no matter how “trivial” they might seem.

Life will be as magical or as dull as you allow it to be.

H/T Tonya Leigh