Author Archive | Janet Lee

Are you Resolute on Resolutions?

 

Do you make New Year’s resolutions? Do you write them down? It is a question that either has people rolling they eyes or lighting up. There is no right or wrong reactions or thoughts.

I fall in the camp of absolutely loving to write down my resolutions.

Any kind of fresh start gets me going (I actually feel the same way each September too).  I have however learned a few things along the way: working out seven days a week is likely not sustainable ;). Making so many resolutions that I can’t remember them also doesn’t work.

For me, the years that I make a practice of writing down my goals, they seem to be more focused.  Science agrees with this fact. It turns out only 8% of people write down their goals for the year and by writing them down it helps our brain to “encode the process” and there is a greater chance of them being remembered and acted on.

If you write down your goal or resolution you have a 95% higher chance of achieving them. Why is that?

  1. Written goals bring you clarity and focus.
  2. They keep you on track.
  3. You become more motivated to take action.
  4. You are focused on what is important to you – answering the “why” you want to achieve this goal is key.

A few other key tips on goal setting or resolution making:

  1. Vividly describe your goals and picture them. Use a vision board, draw, doodle clip from magazines, any kind of visual commitment works.
  2. Write down your goals each week in your day planner or on your electronic calendar. It sounds labour intensive but this takes less than five minutes. Are your goals worth five minutes a week? If you really want to up the ante for achieving your goals say them out loud as you write them.
  3. Hold yourself accountable – there are many apps to help you do this. I love https://www.futureme.org as there is something about getting my own words back to me in my own inbox that kind of freaks me out – in a really good way! Sometimes I am “wiser” than I think and sometimes not so much, lol! But it really does focus me.
  4. Make your goals sustainable and ensure they reflect your own reality, and define what your reality is.
  5. Break your goals into small achievable bite size pieces that are date sensitive.
  6. Gratitude can also be a difference maker. Being thankful improves your patience and lowers stress all of which can prevent us from reaching our goals.

The greatest resolution I made that I will be making again this year (it’s okay to repeat your resolutions) is to erase from my lexicon the expression “where does the time go”.  I want to know where the time goes! After all it is my time! I want to say “Hey, you know what January, yes, I know exactly what I did with you. I did not misplace you like a lost toque. I spent you. I totally used you up, no judgements on how you spent it, just know that you spent it. That feels empowering to me.

Are you ready to put your 2019 on paper?

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Be It

I was listening to CBC in the car last week and they were interviewing a classical musician and I did not catch his name. But he talked about the moment he decided he longer wanted to “do music” that he wanted to “be music”. I almost had to pullover just to absorb all of what he had said in such few words.

What a transformative concept.

I have loved the Nike campaign of “Just do it”. I bought into that hard right from the start. But “being it” is just so powerful. So today I am looking at my world and asking myself where are the opportunities for being vs doing?

I am liking my day a whole lot more! What do you want to “be”?

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Closing the Gender Entrepreneurship Gap

 

This is an empowering number and I am proud to be one of the 34,600!

 

I have been part of this number for 25 years. It has not always been an easy ride. Trust me, it is a ride with twists, turns, steep climbs, sweeping descents, sweet victories and buckets of good humour. I am pretty sure that is why I love it so much. (But don’t ask me to ride a roller coaster!)

I like to think that in most things in life I am gender neutral. That entrepreneurs should be supported equally, and yet there is staggering research to indicate that the gender entrepreneurship gap is real. Do you feel that?

As a woman, I had some challenges, including the day the bank manager literally patted me on the head and told me to go back home and to stop dreaming about such a big loan! Needless to say his inability to share my vision was the end of our banking relationship. Taking no for an answer does not come easily to me. Smiling brightly as our sales surpassed our dreams (and his) did!

According to a WESK document called “Closing the Economic Gender Gap”, women are siting funding, lack of knowledge and experience as their barriers to success.

That is something we can do something about!

I am very dedicated to seeing entrepreneurship grow and be a profitable alternative for all women. To me, entrepreneurship is a movement that is not only about women running profitable businesses but also about women being in control of their destiny.

In 2011, an RBC report indicated that the aggregate contribution of women owned businesses in Canada was an estimated $148B. That is how economies get changed! And I want to be at the forefront. How can you close the economic gap and support a woman entrepreneur?

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When to Value Opinion, Data, and Experience

At a meeting with a group of bright, committed senior level executives discussing a critical issue things started to go sideways. The Chair, witnessing the hurdling rail car leaving the track, jumped in saying:

“Thank you everyone for your “opinions” they are very valuable. I would now like to continue the conversation asking those who have had direct “experience” to add their contributions.”

Bam!

It was like switching from Fox News to CNN.

Sometimes opinions are important, but more valid and compelling is experience and data. The switch from “I think” to “ I know” shifted the entire conversation. Avoiding the group think mentality that was becoming very prevalent but was not based on fact or experience and could have resulted in some poor decision making.

Turns out a similar age old adage is rooted in ancient philosophy. It was Socrates who talked of applying a three-fold lens to our conversations. His advice:

“Say what is true, what is kind, and what is helpful.”

In other words, say what you know!

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The Key to Business Communication: Improvise!

I was always good at thinking on my feet.

From a young age I was always the “performer” in my family and would always be putting on a show at family gatherings. So, it was no surprise that when I had the opportunity to join Regina’s premiere improv company, Hitchhikers Improv, that I jumped on the opportunity.

Improv has taught me so much more than how to expressively and humorously get my point across; it has had ripple effects into how I communicate in everyday life too!

Being understood is everything in business and in life. Being at a loss for words can be everything too – and not in a good way! Under communicating, miscommunicating, and over communicating can be a mine field that can affect everything from opportunities, to team morale and especially the bottom line.

But, I have a solution: improvise!

There is one main takeaway I’ve picked up from being on stage that has enhanced my communication skills it is this:

Don’t Listen to Respond, Listen to Understand!

Often during a conversation, we are simply listening to what the other person is saying and waiting to respond and get our message across. We seem to miss the step of “understanding”.

Something I’ve learned from improv, however, is that if you simply listen to respond, the “wants” of your respective characters can go in completely different directions and the scene feels jumbled and without meaning. If you listen to understand , you can fully react to what the person you are communicating with is looking for and how that may fit in with your own ideas which allows the scene, or the business, to run a lot more smoothly.

Along with learning how to listen with intent, learning to improvise has also given me the ability to rapidly think on my feet and trust those around me to carry on the “story” if I draw a blank. That’s how good business teams work too! Knowing when to jump in and knowing when to stand back. It is a creative and intuitive way to be present, and that is just a great way to do business and live life.

I am Braedon McLeod and I am a Story Co. collaborator who sees life as an endless improv opportunity.

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