Fact: You Can't Win If You Don't Play

The California Lottery is up to $700 million.

I don’t regularly play the lottery. Thanks stats classes for ruining gambling for me.

I know the odds are not in my favor but I also know my numbers have the same probability of being selected as all the others and a there is a 100% guarantee you won’t win if you don’t play.

I am not fool when it comes to $700 million. Well, in this case, $350 million as I had a friend buy my ticket, saving me a trip to the place where you buy lottery tickets, so I will share my winnings.

This started a text discussion of…

What Will We Do When We Win The Lottery? 

After we take the lump sum payout, I would…

Wait! I realized my answers have changed over the years and I am very excited about it.

A few years ago, I would have said I would stop working for someone else, travel the world, buy a house, a car, rescue dogs, and help others.

Today, as I think about my millions coming my way and wonder what I am going to do, I realized I am doing it!

I have traveled the world, have a house, a car, a rescue dog, and doing my own thing on my terms that helps others.

My point is not to show off how amazing my life is but to share you can create that life and work you dream of and you don’t have to win the lottery to do it.

Seriously, if a scared, play-by-the-rules and do-all-the-right-things gal can create the life that she once dreamed of IF she won the lottery, you can too.

How did I get here?

Live your life. Own it. Don't leave it to chance. 

I would like to say it was just luck and just happened but that would be fake news. This has always been a work in progress. It didn’t happen overnight but there is a simple equation to it that I learned from New York Times best-selling author Dan Miller in his book titled 48 Days To The Work You Love.

A Dream + A Detailed Action Plan = A New Future

I had a dream of what I wanted my life and work to look like. I know you have them, too.

But a dream is not enough. Having just a dream is like buying a lottery ticket (or having your friend do it) and leaving that dream’s ability to come true up to luck, random probability, and hopefully, a good friendship in that he doesn’t skip town with your winning ticket.

The secret sauce to winning the lottery of your dream life and work is having a detailed action plan and actually taking action.

I know so many who have amazing dreams and a plan that is contingent on the timing to be right to do that one big thing (like winning the lottery, getting that promotion, or when the kids turn a certain age), only then they will take some action. Which usually means no action.

Here’s the thing. It is not about one big thing. From my experience, it is a series of small baby steps that you do each and every day. I started by reading blogs and books and writing down what I want and how it will feel and went on from there.

That is how I created my own winning. 

Oh, and when I win my half of the $700 million or as I continue creating my own, here’s what I am going to do:

Me & Landon "LL Cool Grey" . Learn more about greyhound rescue here. 

Me & Landon "LL Cool Grey" .

Learn more about greyhound rescue here. 

  1. Market my workshop to help more people find or create work they love.
  2. Rescue more dogs and possibly baby goats.
  3. Update the bathrooms in my 1970s house (one has carpet in the bathroom!).
  4. See Bruno Mars in concert.
  5. Give more to support organizations that are helping and fighting for others. Kindness and caring is awesome.

So what's on your list?

Remember: you can’t win if you don’t play.  Are you ready to play to make it happen?

If you are ready and want help creating an action plan for your dreams, I’m here to help. Click here to learn more. 

You ARE A Leader If.... 10 Things Leaders Do.

A friend of mine reminds me of a unicorn. Seriously, she is like magic. So smart, caring, fun, and wicked talented. She called me recently to talk her down from the irritating day she was having at work. Even unicorns like her aren’t immune to those days. We all have them.

I listened.

Agreeing with everything she shared. Meetings can be a big waste of time, collaborations can be painful, people are glued to their cell phones and not even listening, politics at work (and in the U.S.) are annoying, and the use of buzz words like “optics” is just so silly and makes you look stupid. Unless you’re an optician.

She shared a story of providing coaching and suggestions to a member of one of the collaboration teams she is on because she just had to. Then mentioned she is not their leader and probably stepped out of line.

What?!

The needle on the record scratched and I stopped her right there, reminding her that in having the need to help someone, taking action on that need by providing coaching and suggestions, makes her a leader. She is a leader.

Leadership is a choice, not a position
— Stephen Covey

Every single one of us is a leader.

A title, position, office, or company car does not make you a leader. We all know people in positions of “leadership” that — given the choice — we would NEVER have chosen to work for.

They may have the title of “leader” but they model qualities that instinctively tell us they are not a leader we would follow by choice, listen to, or go near if we didn’t have to. There is a big difference. We tolerate them and their poor behavior because of boxes on an org chart and, sadly, the deep-down real reason. A four-letter word: FEAR.

Behaviors and actions are what makes a leader.

Here are 10 things that make you a leader.

You are a leader when you:

  1. Think differently.

  2. Share ideas.

  3. Speak up.

  4. Influence others.

  5. Listen.

  6. Support.

  7. Share.

  8. Ask questions.

  9. Encourage.

  10. Care.

Have you done any of those things? I know you have and that makes you a leader. I want you to remember this! So read it again and say it with me: I AM A LEADER. Own it.

I also want you to commit to being the kind of leader that people want to be around. Not because they are forced to because the org chart says they have to or from a place of FEAR.

You know the kind of leader I am talking about. They make you feel valued, respected, smart, that you have good ideas to contribute, and that you matter — not only for the business but in this world as a human. These leaders are awesome and all too infrequently encountered, just like a unicorn. The world needs more unicorns. Be a unicorn!


With Choose Awesome I am on a mission to change change the world by awakening the sense of choice we all have in how we lead and run businesses. I work with unicorns. If that is you, Join me. 

 

Deliver WOW At Your Next Meeting

I Hate Meetings

Growing up, we were told the word “hate” was a very strong word, like a cuss word. We weren’t allowed to use it. Instead of saying “I hate fish,” we were corrected to say “I don’t care for fish” or “I dislike fish.” 

But I’m grown up now, and when it comes to meetings, saying “I don’t care for meetings” or “I dislike meetings” doesn’t cut it.

Meetings have a tendency to dominate our time at work. Studies of managers and professionals reveal they spend between 25% to 80% of their time in meetings.*

I hate meetings because I have found the majority of those I attended have been a waste of my time. Snacks are the only things that save some meetings from being a total waste, but with budget cuts, the snacks — if even offered — aren’t cutting it either.

From my experience, meetings usually:

  • Don’t start on time.
  • End late.
  • Have too many people in attendance.
  • Lack an agenda or have too many personal/hidden agendas.
  • Are too long.
  • Conclude with no or few decisions, resulting in the need for — you guessed it — another meeting!

Feel free to add your own gripes to this list. I know you have some. 

And that is at the meeting. There is something before the meeting even starts that gets me riled up — the meeting invitation.

Here are two common mistakes most people make when calling a meeting.

Mistake #1: No Subject Lines or Vague Ones That Make No Sense

Do these subject lines calling a meeting look familiar to you?

  • Team Meeting
  • Meeting Re-Group
  • Level Set Review
  • Sloppy Discussion

What do these even mean and why should I come to this meeting?

Mistake #2: No Information About the Meeting

Other than seeing the date and time, who else was invited, and maybe the actual meeting location rather than TBD, you have no idea what to expect about the meeting but you accept and show up anyway.

Meetings won’t go away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean we can’t turn hate to WOW at our meetings.

I am going to give you two rules to follow when calling your next meeting. Each takes a couple minutes on your part and your invitees will think you’re awesome.

To be awesome, from now on all your meeting requests must:

Meeting Rule #1: Have A Clear Subject Line

These days, many of us look at meeting requests and our calendar on mobile devices. Keep that in mind and create a subject line that tells them what the meeting will be about.

Meeting Rule #2: WOW Your Invitation

In the body of the invitation, you will add the WOW.

W = Why are we meeting

O = Outcome of having the meeting

W = What will be covered in the meeting (agenda)

 

 

You can even use WOW in your text until it becomes second nature to you. Something like this: 

By providing this information, you stated a clear need/reason for why you are having a meeting and you have an agenda. Maybe the meeting you were going to call for an hour can now be only 30 minutes, giving everyone the gift of a little time back.

With your subject line, your informed team now has what they need to prepare and will no longer wonder what “sloppy discussion” means. They know it’s about snacks, what to expect at the meeting, and can come prepared. They can even decide if they should attend the meeting or send someone else who has a better grasp on the subject.

You may even decide — after getting clarity on your purpose — that a meeting isn’t necessary. Maybe you can get the information you need another way. Let’s take the example of snacks and see what that would look like in a WOW email.

W = Why I am sending you this email

O = Outcome of the email

W = What I need

To help you WOW your next meeting, I created a free WOW meeting planning worksheet. Download by clicking the image below.

Or Click here

Let me know how WOWing your next meeting or email works. I know your people will think you are awesome.

Choose Awesome believes bad leadership has become common practice and just because everyone is doing it doesn’t make it right. I am on a mission to change the world with how we lead. If you believe that engaging the hearts and minds of people is how you grow the bottom line, please join me. 

 

*http://www.okstate.edu/ceat/msetm/courses/etm5221/Week%201%20Challenges/Meeting%20Analysis%20Findings%20from%20Research%20and%20Practice.pdf

The Time I Met Daniel Pink: An Embarrassing Story

The Time I Met Daniel Pink: An Embarrassing Story

Part 2. If you haven't read Part 1 on the Peter-Out Principle click here. 

Part 2: The Time I Met Daniel Pink: An Embarrassing Story

One of my roles at Disney was as a VIP Tour Guide, hosting executives, dignitaries and celebrities while at the parks.