Monthly Archives: April 2012

Opening Day Coors Field ~ Believing In Yourself

Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.  John Wooden

Yesterday was Opening Day at Coors Field here in Denver.  It was a picture perfect weather day and Lodo was buzzing with all the pre-game excitement that goes along with Springtime, Baseball, and Winning Expectations.

However, the scoreboard at the end of the game told a very different tale: Giants 7 ~Rockies 0.  I sat among the other 49,000 fans watching a team make mistakes, commit errors, and lose confidence.

They will bounce back to some degree ~ even in spite of their loser manager, Jim Tracy, who (in my opinion) should have been fired after last season and baseball in Denver will continue to draw crowds.  But in our lives we don’t have millions of dollars to gamble with or 175 games per season to redeem ourselves.  We generally get only one or two ups to bat and if we don’t perform we are passed over.

Limitations can either define us or give us a challenge to outwit. When you look at your abilities, do you see boundaries and limits, or do you see possibilities and potential? Obsessing about weaknesses can blind us to the untapped abilities we already have.

You have talent. Everyone does. The secret to success is to find that talent, develop it and push it as far as you can.

Grandma Moses might have been a lousy bowler, Einstein probably couldn’t sing a lick, Michelangelo could’ve been unable to speak well in public. So what? They knew what they were good at and rode that pony. Your talent might be right in front of you: where do you get the most compliments? What seems to come easily to you? What do people ask your advice for? Live there. Don’t let the rest get in the way.

We’ll be back at Coors Field on Thursday, hoping for a better result.  I missed Seth Smith so much yesterday.  I hope he’s having a great year.

And so life goes…on and on.

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The importance of not being too grown up

Animal crackers, and cocoa to drink. That is the finest of suppers, I think; when I’m grown up and can have what I please I think I shall always insist upon these.  – Christopher Morley, author & journalist

It’s Opening Day at Coors Field today and I suspect there will be many at and around the ball park today who will not worry about the importance of acting too grown up.  I am thrilled to have great seats in the Wells Fargo Club for Opening Days, when the Colorado Rockies play the San Francisco Giants.  It will be a wild crazy time downtown today.

But once today is over and we all settle back into our busy work worlds, it will still be important to not get too caught up in the business of being too grown up.

My daughter in law, Jeannine, has recently starting working with the cool folks at Otterbox in Fort Collins.  This is a growing company on tract to reach one billion dollars in sales this year!  Impressive, you bet!  But they have the kind of corporate culture so many of us only dream about.  They have a slide from the second floor to the main floor ~ just so you don’t fall into the trap of taking yourself too seriously.  The slide is only the beginning of what fun is to be had for those lucky enough to work at Otterbox.

So as we begin our week, let’s not forget the lesson we can learn from our children or grandchildren. Children are so convinced of their ways and implicitly trust their own instincts. Clearly if it tastes good, it must be good for you! Animal crackers and cocoa…you bet!

Delight in the experiences of your youth today. Reflect upon the simple pleasures of carefree living. What can you do to indulge yourself in a healthy way? Put down the bills and laundry and have a tea party or puppet show. Take a ride on the swing set or jump on the bed. Not only will you burn off some energy, but you’ll also be taken back to an innocent, worry-free time in your life. A time when you wore pajamas with feet and weren’t such a big girl.

At Otterbox, employees and guest will be going down the slide and at Coors Field, I will be having a chocolate dipped ice cream cone!  Play Ball!!

And so life goes…on and on.

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You afraid to try or are you afraid to fail?

To swear off mistakes is very easy.  All you have to do is swear off having ideas.  Leo Burnett

I had the good fortune to work with Leo Burnett agency during the 10 years I lived in Chicago.  I never had the good fortune to meet Leo as he was long since deceased, but his energy and his thumbprint was all over his agency.  I always loved going there.  The energy and creative drive was all over the place and seemed to ooze out of the wall.  Leo was a force in advertising and one of the most ‘creative’ men in the advertising business.  He developed fresh simple icons to symbolize easy-to-understand product benefits.  He was always willing to put his crazy ideas right out there and was never afraid to fail.  To reward his daring trail-blazing, he was named as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.

A well-lived life is not for the timid. The world was never meant to be approached with extra caution and fear of making mistakes. Kids know that you have to jump in feet first and be willing to take some lumps on the head if you’re going to have any fun.

When did we adults stop trying new things? Why did we stop taking risks? In large part, we’re afraid of messing up. We’ve settled into our comfort zones and don’t want to look like a fool to ourselves or others. What’s the price we pay for our pursuit of perfection? No growth, no sense of discovery, few real experiences. The sacrifice isn’t worth it.

I’ve always been willing to try something new.  I do try to learn as much as I can so I have a thimble full of knowledge before I jump off the ledge, but jump I will.  And I’ve never regretted a single step.

Are there points in your life that you wish you could have back because you didn’t pursue an idea or a new interest? Those chances are gone forever–but you’ll have more in the future to take full advantage of. It’s been said that most people don’t learn much that’s new past their 20s. That’s an awful long time to stay stagnant. The only mistake you should be afraid to make is not trying.

Writing this book was a big leap of faith; however, each day becomes more and more clear to  me that the writing was the quick, easy part even though it took the better part of a year to write and twelve years to gather the research.  The marketing of the book will be the real test of energy, creativity, and determination.  I’m up for the challenge and am enjoying the journey. It sure would be nice to have Leo Burnett sitting on my shoulder guiding every day but without him, I’ll use the principles he left behind in his company to guide my path.

And so life goes…on and on.

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Making the most of your day

“You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.”  H. Jackson Brown

Do you often tell others (and yourself) that you just don’t have enough time? I found myself telling that to my sister, Nancy Schaeffer, yesterday in our phone conversation. Nancy can nearly outwork anyone and yet always seems to find time to include a little personal time in her life.

If you are like most people, this is probably something you think about at least once a day. It seems like our lives continue getting busier but time never grows in proportion. Research shows the growing time spent with electronic media ~ some of the time well spent but lots and lots of it frittered away.  Capture that time back and use it to make a difference in your day or the day of another.   The quote I posted today almost always reminds me that great things can (and have been) done with the time that we all have. What will you do with your time today?

The beginning of my day was spent in the dentist office having my teeth checked and cleaned.  I’m always relieved when that item is off my to-do list.  And now it’s time to attack my to-do list.  It grows magically overnight; or so it seems.

And so life goes…on and on.

 

 

 

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Thinking for yourself in the face of doubt

One’s man creativity is another’s brain damage.  Roland Fischer

Today I had the pleasure of having lunch with Joe Sabah and Diana Wall.  Both are experienced and skilled in successfully marketing authors.  When I met them for lunch, it was my belief their expertise was helping authors (and maybe others) garner publicity with radio talk shows.  Well, the first lesson they taught me today is that their expertise goes far beyond that.

Their generosity and sharing are very much appreciated and taken to heart.  One of the comments made from Diana resonated with me when she told me I can gather all the information I want, but ultimately I have the final deciding vote.  Joe echoed that sentiment when he told me the best thing to say when offered input is “Thank you”.

If you accept someone else’s ideas of reality and personal limits, you’ll have no control over your own end product. You can only go as far as that view will let you. I’ve never been a “follower” and have always questioned the “why” of situations.  And I’m glad I have done it “My Way”…most of the time.  I do believe it is wise to gather opinions from the experts but in the end it’s important to be an individual and think for yourself.  It takes courage!  Maybe this mindset is why Frank Sinatra’s song, My Way, has always been one of my very favorites.

For most of us trying a new perspective is scary. But if we always stick to the familiar, the known, we never grow and learn. Don’t be afraid to go against the grain. Ask the tough questions that everyone else is afraid to ask. Try a new way to do the same thing just to see what happens. I guarantee you that the world won’t end. You’ll see solutions that nobody else would see if they’re all looking at a problem the same way. Practice new ways to combine unrelated objects. After all, somebody had to try peanut butter and jelly for the first time.

Thank you to Joe and Diana for helping me to see some things differently.

And so life goes…on and on.

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Learn From Someone Who’s Been There

Pay attention when an old dog is barking.

I had such a lovely 90 minute today with a new “old soul”, Steve.  Steve has been around the block way more than a time or two.  His eyes still light up when he talks about his work, his clients, and his family.  It’s not hard to catch his passion and realize all that he has accomplished.  He was so willing to share some contacts that will be helpful to me in the days ahead.  A wonderful time commitment is a small price to pay for his wisdom and his “do’s” and “don’t”.

You can learn a lot from someone who’s been sniffing their way for a while around the path you want to take.  “Experienced” individuals have unique skills and knowledge that come from years of experience.  I’ve always found men very willing to help me with questions I’ve had.  I must be honest and admit, I had found women to be less willing to share.  But I do sense that is changing with the new generation of business ladies.

Experience and talent is usually unappreciated and, in many cases, undiscovered. Our older experts can make great teachers, ideal sounding boards, or valuable mentors. They can tell you where potential trouble spots are, how to score extra treats, and who’s most likely to scratch you behind your ears. If you’re a young pup still learning your way through the world (as we all are), you can use all the wisdom and street smarts you can get. Instead of baying at the moon, try keeping your ears open for older dogs.

Thanks to Steve for his wisdom and his willingness to share.  I eagerly await my next opportunity to “pay it forward” and I know I won’t have to wait very long.

And on The Book front, today I submitted my first answer to a press query!!  Yippee!

And so life goes…on and on.

 

 

 

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