Tag: wisdom


Do You Have a Passion Project?

I hope your new year will be one lived with passion!

Pursue Your Passion Project

I encourage you in the new year to take on what I call a “passion project.” A passion project is something personal you’ve always had a desire to do or accomplish. Include it in your goals for 2017 so you can start taking steps toward it. When you do, please keep me posted on your progress!

My own passion project for 2017 is to publish a 30-day devotional based on my personal blog, SUP:  Spiritual Understanding & Prayer on a Stand Up Paddleboard. This project combines three of my passions:  my love for God, writing, and stand up paddling. 

Give Purpose to Your Passion Project

Ask yourself how you can give purpose and meaning to your passion project. For example, I plan to use money from the book sales to help fund a mission trip I’m taking to the banks of the Amazon River in Brazil. (So far I’ve raised $1,675 and have only $825 to go!) If you’d like to pre-order a copy of the book at only $12, click here.

Please let me know how I can encourage you in the pursuit of your own passions. (Click here to schedule a complimentary “Path to Purpose” meeting.) And if there’s someone you know who can benefit from my services in 2017, please send them my way!

Happy new year!
Lori B. of paNASH

How to Find Joy in Your Work

You may be one of those lucky people who has a job that brings tremendous joy in your life. Most likely you’re one of many struggling to find joy in your work. While you may be temporarily stuck in what feels like a dead-end situation, that doesn’t mean you can’t use your own uniqueness to add some joy to the daily grind. By finding ways to put your own thumbprint on your work with your unique quirks and skills, you can not only make your work joyful for yourself, but also for others.

How Others Find Joy

My favorite example of this is the story I recently heard of a school janitor in New Hampshire. One of his duties is to vacuum the carpet in the classrooms. Everyone is familiar with how a vacuum leaves lines and tracks in carpet. Well, this janitor uses his artistic abilities to create various designs in the carpet with his vacuum cleaner. It gives him joy in his job to have this kind of creative outlet. In turn, the school children experience joy when they come in to their classroom each morning to find a new carpet mural.

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Photo by Angie Wyand

Another example is my favorite salesman of The Contributor. Shawn sells at the corner of Music Row and the round-about. Every holiday he dresses up in costume while he sells newspapers to fund his housing and his own T-shirt company.

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One way I do this in my own company is by occasionally taking my clients out for a stand up paddleboard lesson. It brings me joy both to be out on the water and to teach someone something new. It brings my clients joy because it gets them out of their normal routine, clears their mind, and exposes them to a potential new hobby. They always comment on how relaxing and fun it is.

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paNASH client Emily U.

The Possible Results

Using your uniqueness to bring joy to your work and to others can open doors to an even better opportunity for several reasons. It can:

  1. Increase your positivity.
  2. Get you noticed in a good way.
  3. Make a difference in the lives of the people you serve in your work.
  4. Indirectly impact the bottom line of the company in a positive way.

All of these things make you a valued asset for both your current company and any other company you may be interested in working for, therefore likely resulting in a promotion, a pay raise, or a new job. Or, it could just simply brighten someone’s day.

How Can You Find Joy?

What’s a way you can (or already do) add your own thumbprint to make your work joyful? I REALLY LOVE stories like this and want to hear more so please, please, please share in the comment box below your own example or others’ examples you’ve witnessed.

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Does Willingness Trump Readiness?

This is the time of year when we reflect on the past 12 months. We think about the things we had planned but didn’t accomplish. Or, we think about the things we’d like to accomplish in the coming new year. Oftentimes, for the things we didn’t get done, we make the excuse “I wasn’t ready.” That excuse also comes in handy when we feel scared or overwhelmed by our future goals.

We might say (and sometimes truly believe) we’re not ready to start a big goal. The thought goes like this:  “I’m not ready because X, Y, and Z aren’t in place yet.” So first, let me ask you, are you ready to tackle your goals? Now, let me answer that question for you.

Are You Ready?

No, you’re not. You never will be. Why? Because X, Y, and Z aren’t all going to perfectly line up at the same time. You’re waiting for the perfect time to get started, and there’s no such thing as the perfect time. In fact, there are a lot of things you won’t be able to perfect until AFTER you get started. The real question is not “Are you ready?” It’s “Are you willing?”

Does Willingness Trump Readiness?

Does willingness trump readiness? Yes, it does. For things to happen, you have to have the willingness to start with the first step toward your goals. There’s no telling if or when you’ll develop feelings of readiness. But the willingness will be the thing that helps you push beyond those feelings.

Please don’t misunderstand what I’m saying here. I’m not encouraging poor planning. You should always do your research and consider the cost and feasibility of your goals. That’s the first step you should always take. Willingness to take the first step will lead to wise decisions. And, it will keep you from remaining paralyzed and wasting time waiting for the perfect time.

No Regrets

This may sound a little familiar because I’ve blogged about this topic before. I do so because I know too many people who have regretted the things they didn’t do more than the things they did do. I want to encourage people to pursue their goals and their passions in a responsible way. It’s why I do what I do. It says so in my vision statement:

“I believe everyone should find the courage to discover and pursue their passions despite the obstacles they may face. I want to see people actively pursue their passions with flair (‘paNASH’) and confidence, along with responsibility to their purpose in life.”

I can look back on my own life and see what I would have missed out on had I waited for the perfect time to pursue my goals. If I had waited until I was married to go to Australia on a honeymoon like I wanted to instead of just going by myself on a month-long vacation for my 30th birthday, I’d still be waiting because (as of right now) I’m still single at age 42.

If I had waited until I had enough contacts, enough money saved, and a stable economy to leave my full-time job to start my own business like I did 8 years ago, I’d still be waiting. It wasn’t timing that got me off my butt to do those things, it was willingness.

Are you willing?

So I’ll ask you the question again:  Are you willing? If so, the paNASH Goal-Achievement Plan can help you stop procrastinating and start taking steps to not only setting your goals, but ACHIEVING them! Click here to subscribe to the paNASH newsletter and receive a complimentary copy of the Goal-Achievement Plan so that this time next year, you can look back and see what all you can accomplish with just a little willingness!

Related blog posts:

Feeling trapped? 7 Possible Ways to Cope

A few weeks ago I took a mini-vacation down to my favorite area of Florida, Seagrove Beach on beautiful 30A. I was anxious to get my paddle board out on the beautiful emerald waters of the Gulf of Mexico, but the beach’s warning flags told me I should re-think my plans. There was a purple flag indicating dangerous marine life, and a red flag indicating high hazards and strong currents. 

So, I improvised and took my board out on Eastern Lake, a rare coastal dune lake that runs under scenic highway 30A and eventually feeds into the ocean after a heavy rain or other inflow. Because it is a coastal dune lake, Eastern Lake is rather small. And since there hadn’t been a previous heavy rainfall to create an opening to the ocean, the sandy beach served as a barrier between the lake and the ocean.

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Feeling Trappedpicture1

I paddled from the beach end (the south end) where the salt water mixes with the fresh, to the marshy north end where I’m sure some alligators make their home. It was only about a mile and a half from the beach barrier to the marsh end of the lake. Needless to say, for someone who is used to paddling on rivers with an unlimited amount of distance available, I felt a bit trapped.

Unlike the ocean, I didn’t have a wide open space to explore, so all I could do was just keep paddling in one big circle around the perimeter of the lake. Despite all the beauty surrounding me and the change of scenery from my regular paddle route, the feeling of going around in circles made me frustrated. 

7 Possible Ways to Cope

I’ve thought about that day a lot since returning from my trip, feeling like there is some kind of lesson in it (and there probably is because there have been so many from my various paddling excursions). But what? As soon as I started writing this story, several possibilities came to mind:

  1. Sometimes we don’t always get what we want when we want it, so be patient.
  2. Make the best of your current situation.
  3. Just enjoy and be content with and grateful for the beauty of your current place/situation. Things will soon change for the better.
  4. Wait to make your move until conditions are more favorable.
  5. Pay attention to the warning flags.
  6. You’ll keep going in circles if you don’t step out of your comfort zone.
  7. Don’t wait for an opportunity to come open. Make your own opportunity.

Can You Relate?

I’m still not sure which of the above lessons I was supposed to learn that day. But the experience of feeling blocked in or trapped is one I’ve felt more than once in my career, whether it was when I was trapped in a toxic office environment, or when I was restless because I was not working in my purpose.

Can you relate?

In two instances, I waited patiently for the conditions to be right to make my exit, and spent my time wisely planning my course of action for when the appropriate time arrived. In one instance, I stopped focusing on the warning flags and took a leap of faith.

I know which approach has worked best for me, but in general I can’t say for sure that either of those approaches is better than the other. And I can’t say that there’s one approach that fits everyone experiencing the same frustrations because everyone’s journey is different. What I can do is coach my clients on the approach that works best for them, their personal situation, and their unique goals and strengths. Which lesson from the list above speaks most to your current situation?

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Increase Your Income With This Simple Task

Increase Your Income

The number one way to increase your income is to provide proof of your work accomplishments. By detailing how you’ve impacted your company’s bottom line, you are more likely to increase your income in one of the following ways:

  • Get hired for a higher-paying job at another company (if you are currently conducting a job search).
  • Be promoted to a higher-paying position within your current company.
  • Receive a pay raise for your current job.
  • Avoid a possible layoff.

Accomplishments Are King

In a recent post on The Daily Positive entitled “What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Job Loss,” I said accomplishments are king in the job search. This is because a resume without accomplishments is guaranteed to end up in the trash. But, accomplishments are king throughout your entire career, not just in the job search, especially if you are trying to achieve one of the above results.

So what do I mean by “accomplishments are king”? Your resume, performance review, and LinkedIn profile should never read like a job description. Instead, these credentials should show what you did that no one before you in that position and no one after you can duplicate. They should include specifically how you made a difference in your job. Examples of accomplishments include:

  • Ways you made the company money and/or increased revenue or profit.
  • Ways you saved the company money or decreased spending.
  • Ways you saved the company time or man hours.
  • Ways you increased efficiency or made a process easier.
  • Ways you increased customer satisfaction or decreased customer complaints.
  • Ways you met deadlines ahead of schedule.
  • Ways you came in under budget.
  • Ways you improved staff morale.
  • Ways you discovered a potential problem no one else saw and corrected it.
  • Other examples you can think of.

Quantify It!

Once you brainstorm a list of your own accomplishments, you want to go back and quantify what you’ve done by including dollar amounts, percentages, etc. It’s okay if you have to approximate the numbers or if you have to go back and ask your supervisor what those numbers might be.

Often times when I advise my clients on doing this, I get some push-back. They’ll say something like:

  • “Well, I really didn’t do anything important.”
  • “I wasn’t trying to get the glory, I just did my job.”
  • “I’m not in sales so I didn’t make the company any money.”
  • “I don’t remember what those numbers are.”/”I have no way of finding out what those numbers are.”

Now is not the time to make excuses, especially if your job or salary is on the line. Everyone is unique and everyone solves problems and does their job uniquely. Therefore, you have accomplishments to show your contribution to the company.

You may have to do a little research and reach out to people from your work history, but it’s well worth it when you can prove why you deserve a job offer, promotion, or pay raise. It can even save your current job from possible downsizing if you can show just how big of a loss it will be to the company if they let you go.

Everyone Can Do This

Obviously, someone with more experience is going to have more examples to list, but even someone with very little experience can do this. For example, when I used to work with college students, a student came to me for help with his resume. The previous summer he was hired to deconstruct an old barn. He said, “Ms. Bumgarner, all I did was tear down a barn. How in the world can I make that sound good on a resume?!” After working with him, here’s what he came up with:

  • Worked alone for long hours in extreme heat to deconstruct large barn, calculating the best way to disassemble it without causing costly damage to adjacent structures.
  • Saved $1,500 by reusing board to create additional shelter.
  • Made a profit of $500 by reselling remaining usable metal to salvage yard.
  • Properly disposed of other materials that might harm the environment.

Display Your Accomplishments

Once you have brainstormed a list of your accomplishments, you want to include select ones on your resume under the appropriate job, several of them in your LinkedIn profile, and all of them on a separate document entitled “Accomplishments & Contributions” or “Competitive Advantages.” This separate document will serve either as an addendum to your resume for a job application, or as a stand-alone document for when you go in for a performance review or to ask for a pay raise. It should be formatted neatly, and it can simply be a bulleted list of all your accomplishments (no need to indicate in which job you performed these accomplishments).

Accomplishments ⇒ Confidence ⇒ Increased Income

When you perform this exercise, something magical will happen:  your confidence will soar! It is such a confidence booster to see on paper all you’ve achieved in your career. This confidence will also be noticeable when you go in to a job interview or a performance review, therefore increasing your likelihood of getting what you want. You’ll be able to tell the details of how you achieved such results, which is what employers want to hear!

Most people need help with brainstorming ideas or with the final wording of their list of accomplishments, and that’s what I’m here for. If you need help with making these necessary updates to your resume or LinkedIn profile, contact me so we can begin working on that. You need to be ready for when that promotion or job opening comes up. Don’t wait until it’s too late!