Category Archives: Assumption

What A Paleoanthropologist Can Teach You About Business

Last Thursday, September 10, 2015, a group of international scientists announced the discovery of a new hominin species in South Africa.  The name of the species is Homo Naledi. Homo Naledi, New Species

This is obviously ground breaking news!  And so what?—you may ask.  What does this discovery have to do with you, and with making your business more profitable?

The lead paleoanthropologist, Lee R. Berger, said this about the discovery, “I do believe that the field of paleoanthropology had convinced itself, as many as 15 years ago, that we had found everything—that we were not going to make any new major discoveries, and that we had this story of our origins figured out.  I think many people quit exploring; they thought it was safer to conduct science in a laboratory or sitting at a computer.  What the new species Naledi says,” Dr. Berger concluded, “is that there is no substitute for exploration.”

You do not have to be a paleoanthropologist to learn from Dr. Berger.  What he is pointing to is our tendency to think that everything has already been discovered, created, and figured out.  Berger has challenged us to continue to explore—to not give up and think it’s all handled—that we have seen it all.

How can I apply this information to my business?

  • Begin by questioning your assumptions.  (What about your business do you think is already figured out?  What does everyone know about your business?)
  • Then look to see if your business practices are stale, uninviting, and old.  What about your business should be upgraded and re-imagined?

This type of questioning can lead you to new discoveries and new ways of providing services to your clients.  It also leads to change, but I am not talking about changing for change’s sake; I am talking about inquiring into what you need to change, about being willing to change if you can see that the change could benefit your clients, and about implementing changes that will cause new results that are spectacular.


Want To Be Happier? Take This One Action

When one of my clients sent me this email, I sighed with resignation.  I did not want to look at another stupid YouTube video.  However, what he said in his email to me intrigued me.

laughing_iguanaHere is what he said: “Not sure what to call it, but we humans seek fulfillment or satisfaction that my life and my experiences are meaningful beyond my small-“s” selfish pleasure and/or pain.  Here’s a neat video about the power of self-expression to increase one’s happiness.”

Maybe you like me don’t want to look at a neat video.  I put it on my To Do Later list—and yet, what he said niggled at me for the rest of the week, so, I watched it on Sunday.  I was moved by the results the people in the video had.  My client was right; here is scientific proof of how easy it is to increase happiness significantly.

I immediately picked up the phone and called an old friend to tell her how much I appreciated her friendship and dang if I didn’t feel better, more self expressed.  It worked!

Today, I am sharing it with you with the intention that you watch it and take the action too!

Click here to see it: Scientists Discover One Of The Greatest Contributing Factors To Happiness — You’ll Thank Me Later

In the space below let me know what you think of this video and any actions you took after you viewed it.  I love to hear from you!

What Benjamin Franklin Taught Me— Yesterday

Are you angry that others disappoint you?
Remember you cannot depend on yourself.
~Benjamin Franklin

I get on my high horse at times about things people do.  My latest rant has been about people who don’t return calls or answer personal emails from me.  Maybe they have asked me a question, or even asked me to do something for them.  I respond and then I don’t hear anything—nothing.  I am left with not only not knowing the ultimate outcome, but am also left resenting that I put my self out for them.

Last night, I was in full rant mode about this, and then I received this quote:

Are you angry that others disappoint you?
Remember you cannot depend on yourself.
~Benjamin Franklin

Hmm, its true, I am sometimes undependable.  I do not keep my word all of the time.  How I interpret the quote, is essentially, clean your own house before you criticize another.  Now that is humbling.  It was also a wake up call for me.

I am now on a mission.  I am looking to see, checking myself out, to find those things in me that I criticize others about?  Am I doing the same things they are?  If I am, I am cleaning it up.

I bring this up to you because it may be useful for you to take a look at yourself.  It may make a difference to you as it has for me.  If this seems not very important to you, that’s fine too.  Who am I to criticize?

In the space below, please share about some of your aha moments and what you have done to bring them into being a lasting part of your life.  I look forward to hearing from you!

10 Ways to Avoid Domination

avoidAs you read in the “Going Pro” blog I wrote in August, one must take actions in order to “Go Pro”.  Logically speaking those actions would then be created, committed to, planned out, and scheduled for action; and then implemented by the person who is intentional about “Going Pro.”  Most likely that someone is you or me.

Of course, I wouldn’t dare speak about you but I can boldly speak about me.  The minute I commit to a course of action, my “avoid domination” button is pushed.  I watch myself with some amusement as I go about my well honed skills in avoiding domination.  Here is what I use in no particular order:

1. Put off the action because “it doesn’t feel right, right now.”

2. Think I am getting a cold.

3. Get a cold or the flu or food poisoning.

4. Be really, really tired.

5. Think I better catch up on Facebook first.

6. Check my email for the 10th time in one day.

7. Google my project and go off on an adventure into “Google land” which for me leads to a lot of interesting ideas that have nothing to do with my new project!

8. Reschedule the action since I ran out of time FaceBooking and Googling.

9. Call a friend to see if he or she thinks I should move forward and convince them why I shouldn’t.  (I only call people who I can convince.)

10. Get hungry and fix a snack.

That’s a pretty gruesome list.  Left to my own devices, I do some combination of those things to avoid the domination of my commitment.  How about you?

As human beings we are wired to avoid domination—we are wired to dominate.  This is  common behavior, the automatic reaction to a big commitment such as “Going Pro”.  It takes insight and a sense of humor to break open the jail of avoiding domination and just take the action anyway.  As, Goethe said: Until one is committed, there is hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness.  Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it.  Boldness has genius, power and magic in it.  Begin it now.

Take the time now to authentically look at how you avoid the domination of commitments.  Once you see how you do it, you will do two things, laugh at yourself and take forward action on your big commitments.

I would love to hear your comments about this topic below.  Thank you for taking the time to share them.

To Succeed Do This — Not That!

“People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are.  I don’t believe in circumstances.  The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and if they can’t find them, make them.”

George Bernard Shaw, Mrs. Warren’s Profession

Many of you have seen this quote before.  At first glance, it doesn’t seem that tax-credits_changing-circumstances-175097remarkable does it?  However, with some further examination, you might find, as I have, it is a pointer to how to live your life, and how to create what you want in your life.

I think it’s one of the things that we sometimes remember.  And then we forget it.  It is as if we are cast out into the raging ocean in a shaky rowboat without any oars.  We then become a victim of our circumstances instead of the creator of them.  When we become the victim, all sorts of events thwart our intentions.  Everything we try seems to go wrong.  Everything appears to be against us.  We think we are doomed.  Our view of the future becomes dark and gloomy with thunder and lightening.  We then become right about how hard it is and that nothing is going to work out—and nothing does work out, which makes us even more right.  This is a vicious cycle.   AND, we can, if not prevent it, at least reverse it.

This is where George Bernard Shaw enters the picture with his wonderful quote.

We can make our own circumstances.  When we begin to act on our own behalf, all sorts of openings begin to occur.

I have seen this reversal happen with many of my coaching clients.  Sometimes, it takes them, first of all, making a commitment to be coached.  Often, setting the first appointment begins the shift of circumstances.  Why?  Because they are then committed to shifting their circumstances rather than being victim of them. The next big shift happens when they begin to talk to their coach about their lost dreams and they are listened to seriously and respectfully.  With a coach, someone who is committed to the idea that something can work, the client can succeed.  The client experiences being whole and complete and not their rotten circumstances.  They begin the process of being the success they know themselves to be.  I have seen this happen many times with my clients.

And how about you?  Have you triumphed over a set of rotten circumstances?  What happened?  I would love to hear your comments about this topic.

What Do You Expect Anyway? Are You Clear?

My client was furious and ranting loudly during our coaching call.  What happened?  When he moved his business from one state to another about a year ago, he kept his accountant from the previous state.  Now, he was being slapped with huge fines for not paying the correct sales taxes in both states.  He was practically yowling from the time I said “Hello”.  He lamented to me that the accountant lied to him about knowing the ramifications of making the move and setting up the new books for doing business in the new state.

I had my doubts about the accountant lying because this has happened before to this particular client.  He has a demonstrated “assumption” disease.  He has assumed that some contracted professional knows something that they don’t profess to know or that they have done something that he never asked them to do.  He goes merrily on his way until the assumption bites him usually in the form of having to pay more to get him out of the trouble the assumption has caused him.  Fortunately, this client is smart.  He does learn from his mistakes and has not made the same mistake twice.

So, what is my idea to stop this kind of financially painful learning experience?  Make a list of what you are asking the professional to do and also a second list of what you are assuming that they professional knows and is doing.  Then, ask about both lists before the services contract is agreed upon.  Also, ask the professional what you are missing and what the ramifications are if the actions are not performed as understood.  Get everything in writing first which outlines the actions and consequences or results and or actions.  If for some reason, you are still not clear, get a second opinion.  Make certain you are crystal clear up front, before the first payment is made that what you want and assume will be done is being done and by when.

Yes,  it IS a lot more up front work.  I assert it is much easier and you will avoid the unnecessary financial and emotional stress of finding out much later when the damage has been done.

In the comments below please let me know if you have been faced with the consequences of the assumption disease and what you have done to cure your self.  I am looking forward to hearing from you!