Reinvention Masters

When you’re experiencing success in your marketplace, it is wise to be aware of changes in the wind, while being able to make adjustments to counter any unforeseen major changes in direction or overall weather conditions. Being able to maneuver turbulent waters and reinvent when necessary can help your organization or enterprise weather the storm.

Technologies are constantly changing and loyal consumers are fickle. While you may be today’s rising star, tomorrow you could be a forgotten has been.

The last thing you want to do is to follow in the footsteps of Blockbuster, Borders, Kodak, Pan-Am, Polaroid and/or a bazillion other companies who have crashed and burned – or are currently amidst a downward spiral – due to their inability to be more acutely aware of their surroundings, with enough time, talent, technology and opportunity to make adjustments to their course as needed.

Better by far to adopt strategies including total tear-down and rebuilding on-the-fly, like these companies you may recognize, who had the foresight to innovate, reinvent and adapt:

Apple leads the pack in reinvention reinvent yourself for success think different reinvention masters


Apple started with stylistic user-friendly PCs then morphed into innovative hand-held devices iPod and iPhone followed by the iPad, the Apple Watch, Enterprise and Siri. Apple remains a leader in innovation, adaptation and exploration of new markets while creating demand for their forward-thinking projects powered by a culture of their unique avid supporter network.


Amazon all but decimated the local bookstore by selling books online then expanded into other retail markets as Jeff Bezos desired to sell “everything” via his online portal. Reinvention included entering the manufacturing arena with technology-related products, streaming licensed – and broadcasting original – content, as well as redefining delivery methods of products in America and around the world.


Remember when Google was a search engine? (Of course you do, they still are. In fact, it’s probably how you found this article.) Now, they are so much more as they continue to evolve and reinvent themselves along the way entering technology development, manufacturing of smart phones, hardware and innumerous gadgets for nerds.


The innovative efforts of Netflix took a noticeable chunk out to the video rental business by offering DVD rental by mail. By keeping a mindful eye on the emerging video landscape, they were able to jump at the opportunity to join the video-streaming technology in 2007. In 2013 further reinvented Netflix as it began to take on the networks by releasing its own original content for subscribers.


Howard Schultz introduced us to a new and exciting way to experience coffee. Even so, after a while his coffee experience was under attack by major chains and independent entrepreneurs, all who wanted a piece of the Starbucks’ action. Shultz hit the road and discovered that advancements that had been made in recent years allowed clientele and his market to deteriorate. Once he discovered this, he reinvented Starbucks without the advancements, returning it to its original charm and put his company back on the map.


Taking a beating in the big-box market place, Target was losing market share when it decided to reinvent itself by setting Target apart from the other mass retailers, like Walmart and Kmart. By teaming up with fashion designers they were able to introduce value-priced clothing and cosmetics to reposition themselves as being America’s purveyor of affordable chic. Now, faithful consumers refer to the store as Targét.


Japanese car company’s Toyopets were not well received by the American audience and when expensive import tariffs were levied against their off-shore vehicles, they set up manufacturing in the USA. By focusing on refining production and engineering capabilities they were able to produce an affordable low mileage and maintenance automobile with a longer lifespan that other vehicles. So as not to lose market share, they expanded their lines to include Lexus’s luxury cars and the Prius.


One Valentine’s Day, former PayPal employees decided to launch a video dating site with huge investments. The dating site was an enormous flop, but the video backbone of the system was inherently sound, so rather than tuck their tail between their legs and walk away from their angel investors, they decided to reinvent themselves as a video sharing site that was later acquired by Google to the tune of $1.65 billion.

Just a few examples to keen you up to the idea, it would behoove you not to become complacent in either your personal or professional strategies. You don’t have to take on the responsibility on your own, as you can defer much of it to your team, but you must be plugged in to the heartbeat of your clients, potential clients, and the changing landscape, so as not to be blindsided.

Expectation Imposition

You can try to impose your expectations on another person, but is this really advisable?

I know, I’ve been there, too

I have been in the flow of helping others in counseling, coaching and consulting since high school. In the beginning my work was focused primarily on Christian counseling and I recognized that if it wasn’t impossible to legislate Christian conduct, it would certainly be immoral to attempt to do so. It resonated as true within my sense of being that a person could only conduct their lives in such a way as was congruent with any sense of rationality they could muster based on the individual lives they had lived up to this point in time, or simply put

Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have

counselor coach consultant training counselors coaches consultants

Yet early in my ministry, I kept running into walls and posturing against leadership promoting the idea that certain ideas and expectations should be enforced in order to allow participation in our program. After attempting to find ways to work-around these organized spiritual obstacles unsuccessfully, I determined more secular spiritual endeavors would better suit my ministry.

I mean, really? It appears to me that Jesus had an entirely more radical approach, like, “Love God, mind your own business and don’t screw anybody over” (admittedly, a Masters’ paraphrase, but you get the idea).

As I continued assisting others and later transitioned into training counselors, coaches and consultants, I continued to promulgate the idea that while trying to assist someone along their life’s journey, we should not impose our expectations on the client.

It’s not your life

You can, yeah but, me ‘til you’re blue in the face. I will never concede that you will ever know what’s best for another person. You may have your ideas, and by all means, it is your charge and responsibility to share your ideas, as well as others, to help your client see there are options they might have not considered.

Allow them to make their own way

You must allow them the space to make their own decisions and take their own actions and live out their own lives in their own way.

I have standards

Great; no problem with establishing a target market around the type of individuals you achieve the best results with. You only have a certain number of hours available to help others, it is prudent for you to establish your niche so you can better serve your clients with the resources you have available.

You cannot – and should not – try to be everything to everyone. This will lead to disappointment, discouragement and burnout (the fate of most non-specializing counselors).

If I can see that a client is not a good match for my coaching style, I do not demand they comply with my standards. Instead, I refer them to someone else who is better suited to help them with where they are on their life’s journey. Maybe, at a later date, we will be more compatible.

The easiest sign to identify a novice counselor, coach or consultant, is when he or she says, “I told them what to do and they wouldn’t do it,” with a certain degree of angst. While a more-seasoned professional might say, “I made some suggestions. In my opinion, they did not select the option I might have selected but c’est la vie.”

When someone doesn’t take advice from you and you’ve encouraged him or her to look at all the possible outcomes from various points of view, you might consider applauding them for blazing their own trail, then just sit back and see how their decision works out for them. You might be surprised (as I have been on many occasions) how well things do work out for them, even though you might not have fared as well.

And if things don’t work out for them as well as they’d hoped, for god’s sake do not tell them, “I told you so.” Instead, put yourself in their shoes; how would you feel if you were him or her? A little humility goes a long way. It is not your job to judge, but to empathetically support the client; not to validate your ego-dominated superiority.

Lighten up – Let it be

ROFL Return On Failure Learning

Better get used to the idea, whether in business or in your personal life, sometimes you are gonna find yourself in the middle of a huge snafu and guess what? It’s your fault.

Yep. You walked right into it, eyes wide open, and now you look at what you’ve done and are thinking to yourself

How could it have possibly come to this?

Regardless of who you are, invariably you will be standing in the mirror, looking at a failure.

Don’t think you’re the only one; plenty have tried and failed, including names you might recognize today, like Elizabeth Arden, The Beatles, Jack Canfield, Mark Cuban, Walt Disney, Albert Einstein, Lady Gaga, Bill Gates, Milton Hershey, Steve Jobs, Michael Jordan, Mary Kay, Stephen King, Madonna, J.K. Rowling, Colonel Sanders, Charles Schultz, Steven Spielberg, Sylvester Stallone, and even Oprah Winfrey (just to name a few).

The question isn’t whether you have failed or not, the question is

What are you gonna do about it now?

Sure, you could feel unworthy, sorry for yourself (actually this is part of the healing process), let your fear of failure overcome you and swear never to take another chance again, or you can examine where you are, dig deep within, take an honest look at the data, discern how you got here and

Embrace the Learning

ROFL what do you and famous celebrity failures have in common return on failure learning

ROFL Return On Failure Learning

Long before ROFL was reduced to a silly text acronym, not far behind its shirt-tailed cousin ROI (Return On Investment) ROFL adequately exemplified the attitude of creative and powerful individuals (such as the aforementioned celebrities) who would not respond to failure like a “normal” person.

No, they did not roll over and frigging leave, they sought to gain a Return On Failure: Learning.

These extraordinary individuals stood face-to-face with their inner demons and against all odds, harnessed the lessons gleaned from their negative experiences and forged forward with the determination to try again; this time wiser and better prepared.

And many of them did not succeed on the third or fourth try. After every successive failure, they emerged even more determined, wiser and better equipped to overcome obstacles that would rear their ugly heads while they continued to push forward to success.

This is the key component of the extraordinary individual

You are also an extraordinary individual

There is no doubt that there exists no one with your particular strengths, gifts, abilities and unique message to share with the community and the world, a world where anything is possible.

The only difference between you and Oprah
(or any of the other individuals cited previously)
is how you respond to the F-word.

Look at failure as earning (and possibly paying handsomely for) your Masters Degree in what not to do. Armed with this knowledge, you have an expertise you’d never been able to attain without the completion of this course. It was hard, no doubt. It was painful, full of long hours and sleepless nights, but you finished the course.

Yes, it’s acceptable to take time to reflect and recuperate before taking your next foray into your subsequent project or emerging incarnation of your self, but it is necessary for you to be the extraordinary person you were born to be.

See every failure as an investment in your further education and look for the

Return On Failure Learning (ROFL)

One day, you might just look back at this failure rolling on the floor laughing (just saying).

You are extraordinary

Unleash your inner Oprah

or other failure from the celebrity list (above).

Be Your Own Boss

It’s a good idea to start thinking of ways to expand your regular cash-flow, especially if you desire to increase your quality of life. We are blessed to be living in a country that allows individuals with no particular expertise, training or royal bloodline to innovate and create something from scratch, intent to either develop an income stream alternative to working a job or even to become vastly successful.

be your own boss fire your boss start your own business

Fire Your Boss

How many times have you considered telling your boss to take this job and shove it,” walk out and prove that you could show him (or her) how to run a real business and be your own boss?

Basically, there are two ways to go about starting a venture to create independent cash-flow. Reduced to their simplest form, the first (and most thought of when considering a business start-up) is the highly financed operation.

The highly financed business requires a lot of cash up-front to keep the money machine operating. Using this method, it is hopeful that if the business can stay in operation for a period of time (generally three years) it will begin to create a cash-flow that exceeds the expenses and can even begin to repay the initial debt, or investment outlay to start the operation.

The other way to begin an independent venture is referred to as a bootstrap start-up.

In a bootstrap business, the owner or founder self-finances the startup with little or no cash. The operation continues to grow based on its own merit and revenues are reinvested to grow the operation. In this scenario the business owner often sacrifices all in hopes to create an income stream equivalent to having a decent paying job without having to work for someone else, essentially “being your own boss.”

Occasionally, the creative, forward-thinking business orchestrator (entrepreneur) will out of sheer determination and hard work, risk all in an attempt to push beyond the barriers of other businesspeople to create a successful venture leading to true financial independence. This is to say his or her venture is so successful that it operates without his or her attention and pays them handsomely for their efforts in launching the business.

They no longer enjoy a self-signed paycheck, now they enjoy regular passive income from work they completed previously as their self-sufficient venture continues to perpetuate with little or no effort from the original founder.

Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, I grew up around start-up stories of loggers and fishermen with a dream building wildly successful canneries and lumber mills that started with chopping firewood or a fishing pole and building their enterprises from scratch.

More recent stories include those who have started service-related or Internet-based businesses with little or no start up overhead or investment. Low overhead is a key component in a bootstrap startup. You may be able to self-finance the opening of your operation and the hanging of your shingle (business signage) with the ability to pay the rent for the space to conduct your business, the utilities and a pittance for advertising… but for how long? Three months? A year? Three years?

That’s the beauty of being able to turn to the Internet as a place to create, build and expand upon your venture idea, because the cost of starting up a virtual (Internet-based) operation and a brick-and-mortar retail location are separated by ongoing maintenance costs. The monthly cost of operations is far less for the Internet-based operation and is much easier to manage on a shoe-string budget.

While my clients are evenly divided between Internet-based and physical locations, the Internet-based operations that are successful tend to have the ability to create a positive cash-flow in less time than the brick and mortars.

What are your chances of creating a successful business? Chances are you will fail.

That’s just the truth of the matter, we all know the statistics. No matter what type of business you set out to create, the likelihood that you will fail is prevalent.

Interestingly, as I work with individuals in all phases of their business, whether you succeed or fail in business does not depend as much on the business as you might think.

It has to do solely with the individual at the wheel running the business. It appears they have the Midas touch, everything they touch turns to gold. Truth be told, indeed, they have what it takes, but what it takes may not be what you think it is.

What do you think makes some businesspeople succeed while others seem to be unable to survive?

Mediocre Personal Best

There comes a time in your life when you look in the mirror and ask yourself, “Is this all there is?”

mediocre personal best moment of clarity

And you might just find as you contemplate the meaning and quality of your life you’ve allowed yourself to accept. At some point, you may feel incongruency with accepting a life that is mediocre at best and you begin to consider you deserve the best and you will no longer resign yourself to living a mediocre life.

You draw the line in the sand – it stops here – you know your worth and never settle for less.

Society has programmed us to find comfort in mediocrity, to never expect too much from life, commercial products or services, or other people (even those closest to us) for that matter. These low expectations have lulled us into a basic state of trance where complacency is not only acceptable but begins to feel safe, if not good. And for the most part, it’s an effective method of controlling the masses with the least amount of effort, if we can all stay in the haze of confusion feeling as though we’re all in the same soup; until you’re hit with those brief moments when the state breaks down.

Don’t worry. You are surrounded by enough hypnotic stimuli to pull you back into the trance state no matter where you are. If you’re looking at yourself in the mirror, you notice your hair, clothes, other items behind you… If you’re walking or traveling, there’s architecture, signage, cars, other people wearing different apparel… If you’re in the wilderness, there’s the sound of crickets, birds, flora and fauna to focus upon… There are the everyday concerns of life firing synapses in your brain, or your cell phone begs for your attention… and all of these are triggers that snap you back into your state of unconscious consciousness.

When you shift back into the comfortably numb soup you think, “I’m okay enough,” as you get what you settle for and you’ve resigned yourself to being okay with that, too. And there’s nothing wrong with that.

Overcoming Mediocrity

Then there are those who for whatever reason, resist returning to the state immediately, prolonging that moment of clarity. If you’re one of these people, the time may have come for you to evolve into a grander version of yourself.

You focus intensely on the inconsistencies of mediocrity and vow to never settle for less. With your undivided attention, you pledge to expect more, give, live and love more, perform better with higher efficiency and increase your quality of life to achieve your personal best.

Personal Best

As you separate yourself from the fog of acceptable compliance you begin to explore the expansiveness of all this life has to offer. Armed with your new sense of clarity you’re beginning to see things are not always as they seem. Your awareness is expanding as you start to take on individual characteristics that are uniquely you as you not only dare to be different but begin to transform and evolve into the new you, affecting every cell of your body and reprogramming your DNA.

All the while you’re attracting and acquiring new skills and abilities (some you were born with) as you explore this emerging frontier being more pliable, open and give it all you got so as not to hinder your expansion and accelerate peak flow.

To be different you refuse to accept mediocrity and never settle for less than your best as you give it all you’ve got to only settle for the best from this point forward because you deserve the best. You know that now.

And for those who continue on their path accepting mediocrity, you realize we’re all just doing the best we can with what we have. When their time comes (and it will) they will realize they don’t have to continually settle for less than the very best this life has to offer. You do not focus on the evolution of others, while you allow them the time and space to find their own way with love and acceptance.

It’s all on you as you begin to cycle and recycle through your ever emerging new personal best.

How to Write a Book about My Life

One of the functions that I perform in my work with helping people achieve their highest and best is to assist them in documenting their life’s journey. This is a service that I provide, though my assistance is not necessary for you to write a book about your life.

how to write a book about my life

I believe every person has many books within themselves, hidden away. There is no reason for you to not share your life and stories with the world. I help people write books about all kinds of things, but writing a book about your life is often the launching point exercise to begin your writing career. In most cases, once you see the basic story of your life in print, all the stories begin to bubble up within your soul begging to be released in your next book.

When I work with someone on their book about their life, we usually (depending on the client’s availability, participation and schedule) get this written and published within one week. Just by modeling what I do with my clients, you can do the same thing and follow along with my process.

Now, you, too, will know

How to Write a Book about My Life

The Process

Don’t Have a Process.

I have learned over time, that being organized (or too organized) can deal the death-blow to writing the story of your life.

All I do is to get you, the burgeoning author, on the phone and talk to you at length about your life. The entire interview is recorded. No pattern, no process, just rambling on in free-flowing style, recording everything.

It’s no different than talking to a friend about your life.

Step #1: Tell the Stories about My Life

Simply talk it out and record it on any voice recording device you have… No notes, no agenda, just ramble on. If something is out of order, no worries, just keep recording and mention, “Oh, yeah, I forgot that before we went to Disneyland, we stopped by this restaurant to eat and we all left without paying for our food. Not that we did it on purpose, we were just so exciting about going to Disneyland that nobody thought about it. The only time I ever did a ‘dine and dash,’ though unintentionally.” Just keep going.

Step #2: Transcribe the Stories about My Life

Next you’ve got to get your spoken word into an electronic text format. There are many methods for transcribing voice recordings to text, use any one you want. It is likely there is a transcriptionist you can hire locally, or you can find these services easily online.

Step #3: Sort the Stories about My Life

With all your stories separated into individual pieces, now you can go about putting them in the proper sequence.

Step #4: I Almost Forgot

This can go on forever, so forget endless editing. Step four is for light editing just to fill in any of the missing pieces that might seem apparent to the reader.

Commit to getting this project completed. You can always go back and change it later, if you have to… Or (better yet) come out with a Volume 2, because more often than not, there is much more about your life to be told, which will continue to occur to you along the way. Record it for the next one.

Step #5: Create My Manuscript

Create a single electronic document, with title page, etc… There are free templates that can be downloaded online for you to use, though they are not expressly necessary, as the most progressive publishers of the day, like Amazon, have made it very easy for you to get this done, as they do much of the heavy lifting.

Step #6: Publish the Book about My Life

Now, thanks to Amazon, publishing the book about your life is easier than ever, making the story of your life instantly available to anyone in the world (with access to Amazon, or any major bookseller). Simply create an account and upload your manuscript to Amazon’s instant printed book division at

Don’t worry about cover art for your book unless you have already had someone create individual art for your book cover because Create Space provides many templates for you to choose from and you can easily upload and have placed into the existing template a cover photo and/or author’s photo.

Step #7: Celebrate the Book about My Life!

Be the first person to order your book. Once your package arrives: Celebrate!

You are now a published author… and if you’re anything like those who also done the same thing… Now, you’re just getting started.

Tell me about your book in the comments below:

Find Friends

Let’s face it, without friends to share the good moments in life with, it reduces one’s quality of life. And if you’ve taken the position of, “I don’t need no stinking friends,” then it is certain that you will not. If you ever find yourself in need of a friend (which happens from time to time) you will not have anyone to turn to when it would be beneficial to have someone you could lean on.

I’m not saying you have to have a hundred friends, although someone I work with has hundreds of friends – probably the most connected person I’ve ever met – and while he maintains genuine friendships with them, when he needs a friend for anything (personally or professionally) a simple text, email or phone call is all it takes for them jump at the opportunity to help him. A few friends, like four or five, who live in within a hundred miles or so would serve you well.

These should be special friends. That means they are compatible, share some of the same interests and passion as you, integrous, trustworthy and you will have each other’s back. It’s not likely this will happen overnight but to remain open and willing to invite a few special people into your life would help to attract the right kind of people but don’t expect your new friends to materialize in front of you.

find friends frienships relationships

You have to put yourself in the right places to find friends who are the kind of people that would make good friends. You might even have to create opportunities to find friends. Consider joining an organization, creating your own club, networking event, regular themed meet up or meeting that will attract participants who are likely to share similar interests.

As you’re attracting a core group of friends who will “have your back” and you theirs, keep in mind that you are not desperate, and do not try to force a friendship. If you’re in the right place at the right time, a potential friendship will blossom naturally. Though you may need to make the first move (invite someone to coffee, etc.) be thoughtful enough not to seem aggressive while finding friends. Maintaining a genuine friendship is not hard work; they simply grow and mature without much effort.

Once you’ve met someone in public, you will need to move to a more private arena to build a relationship. True friendships are built off-line, not just during breaks at events. If you think you are too shy, you might want to practice putting yourself out there enough to create bonds with people you might like or learn to love if given the chance.

If you find a friend, or two, at a particular event or venue, it may be time to reach out to another group of people or to hang out with their other friends at other get-togethers to give you new opportunities to find potential friends that can grow into authentic relationships.

It is important to maintain a sense of community. You may find your regular circle of friends and family are not as supportive of your goals, dreams and desires – and may not even recognize a win for you as such, so – expecting them to celebrate with you would be confusing to them. But a group of like-minded individuals will “get you” and celebrate enthusiastically, helping to cement your new plateau, and encourage you to reach even farther on your quest to your highest and best.

These people could end up being your most trusted long term friends for life.

My Tiny Ad Obsession

I know I’m going to date myself, here, but I have this fascination with tiny promotional efforts yielding huge profit potential, and this obsession started when I was seven years old.

Back in the day, smoking tobacco was considered a healthy pastime. While I wasn’t attracted to smoking cigarettes at that early age, there was an accessory that intrigued me and I began to collect these items, like other kids might collect baseball cards. These items were available almost everywhere, and I could collect them wherever my family traveled to, any place I could get my hands on them.

match book advertsing tiny ads matches


I could even collect and/or trade them with other people – even complete strangers – who were not hesitant to trade, or assist me in upgrading an item in my collection. For instance, if I had possessed a gently used item in my collection, I might be able to trade it for one in pristine unused condition and people were genuinely eager to help me with my collection.

My collection consisted of books of matches, each featuring some kind of advertising on the matchbook cover.

I was captivated by the various methods advertisers would use with the combination of primal graphics and (mostly) brief text. In most cases, the matchbook was little more than a business card wrapped around twenty matches, in others, a full advertising campaign – possibly including a mail-in coupon – was featured on the book of matches.

In grade school a field trip to a local print shop pushed me over the edge, when I was able to discover the behind-the-scene secrets of how these little objets d’art were created. I was mesmerized and began to study all manner of typesetting and printing practices. In my youth the printing process was still very primitive, not far advanced from the same methods employed by Benjamin Franklin.

Later, my obsession expanded to include a similar small-space advertising technique: the one-inch advertisement. I could peruse many magazines in the magazine shop downtown, quickly and easily without damaging the magazine while conducting my research.

I could quickly turn to the back pages of the magazine, where most of the small ads were placed and give them a quick once-over to critique their layout and design. Every once and a while I would hit the mother-lode and discover a magazine loaded with one-inch ads with captivating headlines and keywords, “Wa-hoo!” That’s the magazine I would spend my paper-route money on.

In junior high, I published my first co-op advertising tabloid enabling to exercise and hone my skills, while watching my dad pour over full page ad copy to promote his import/export business, my attention continued to be focused on brief, small ads (even today, I don’t think we see eye-to-eye on advertising use of space).

Also a musician and fan of independent singers/songwriters, in a high school entrepreneurial effort, I used my skills to promote local performance artists. This expanded into developing my own ad agency, and when it expanded to nationwide, it became too much for me to handle.

In my early teaching/training endeavors (mostly religious in nature) I wrote and printed my own books, workbooks and training manuals. Later in life, while in the sound recording industry, there was a need for good album art production (not far removed from matchbook cover art) so I enrolled in college focusing on graphic arts to further my skills.

rent 1 get 1 free 2 for tuesday one dollar video 515 edgewater nw salem or 97304 1 inch displayAs I continued to evolve, I found myself involved in a number of projects in self-help and brick-and-mortar enterprises, I was able to utilize my tiny ad skills to maximize advertising dollars while expanding the reach of both kinds of projects that I was involved in as well as those of my clients.

I still believe that small space advertising can help the promotional efforts of an ongoing business if crafted for maximum exposure and minimal cost.


Don’t Judge a Book by Its Cover

We all know that things are not always as they appear, yet widely we still tend to base our opinion of another person based on a very small data sample. As much as we know that we don’t like people to judge us, reduce us to a structured personality profile, assume that we are a particular kind of cat or two-dimensional caricatures; still we tend to do this when exposed to another individual whom we might not know very well.

Our first impression of someone will influence and spin everything they say or do from that point forward to support our initial opinion or generalization of the kind of person this person may (or may not) be.

dont judge a book by its cover things arent always what they seem matchbook

In business, some of the best talent to support your organization comes from the least likely candidates. Often someone who does not interview well may bring the most significant impact to your organization. They might not look the part, dress fashionably or have the best social skills but what they bring to the table can far supersede your more trendy hires or associates.

Of course, we don’t just tend to judge people by their appearance in the sifting and sorting of the hiring process, we judge people based on our own impression of them in all areas of life.

There is the homeless person holding the “Will Work for Food” sign, we don’t think twice before making an immediate evaluation of this person, even though we do not have a clue who they are, what their position in life is, whether they are genuinely broke or not.

When we’re on the prowl for a potential mate, book covers enter the game again. This one’s not handsome/pretty enough, not tall enough, too short, bad taste in fragrance, shoes or jewelry. Then, of course, there’s the number one book cover, “What kind of car does he drive?”

Especially if we’ve been around the relationship venue for some time, we have a whole list of items to disqualify any potential suitor who might come our way, based on our own personal bias and experience.

In a supermarket, you could hear someone in line repeat a particular phrase that sets off all kinds of bells and whistles and you immediately jump to a conclusion about what kind of person this is based on a string of seven or eight words that triggered your psyches.

If you’re on the lookout for demons, you’re likely to find them everywhere you look.

It appears the most judgmental people of all can be found trolling the Internet looking for people to insult, degrade and humiliate.

I know someone who poured their heart out on Facebook (alright, inadvisable, nonetheless) this person was waylaid by an onslaught of vile accusations and ridicule. All from one transparent, honest and open statement, let loose for the world to see; only to be made the subject of further abuse.

In the event that you get hammered by one of these haters, please try not to take it personal. They don’t know you, and they know no other way to make themselves feel better, than to put someone else down. It’s not about you, it’s about their nature, regardless of who you are, haters gonna hate.

Are you a hater?

If we look deep inside ourselves, as much as we would like to deny that we are “haters,” truth be told we are probably more like the haters in the way that we judge or falsely accuse others based on very little information. Some people are falsely accused and sentenced to prison, for being less than desirable.

What can we do about it?

Well, on social media, if you see someone’s post that seems crass or insensitive, maybe check out the individual’s profile to see if he/she is the type of person that you imagined they were based on a few words on a public post. You might be surprised to see a lovely person, who might even be a considered a “friend” if you met him/her face-to-face.

You just cannot rely on your first impression of a person based on a single statement, like or share. You do not know who they are, what’s happening in their life or what caused them to respond in that way. Chances are, if you had walked a mile in that person’s shoes, you would have done the same thing.

And it’s likely that you have liked, commented and posted something questionable, you’d rather not be defined by at some point. Nowadays, it is prudent to think before you post.

You might consider getting used to the idea that there are other people who are a lot more like you than not. These people also have histories, families, hopes, dreams, and beliefs just like you (though dissimilar) and that’s okay. Isn’t it?

If not, not to worry, there’s room for you, too… and we love you anyway.

Sabbatical Take a Break

Sometimes in life amidst the pursuit of success and happiness it is prudent, if not necessary to take a break from the constant grind of your daily routine and completely unplug from your profession for a period of time to re-center, evaluate, reposition yourself and consider charting an entirely new course for your life’s journey.

sabbatical self discovery reconnection take a break

This process takes more than the traditional week or two of vacation and can take months or years. Corporations are seeing the value of this increasing employee or partner value over time and may offer official sabbaticals (extended separation or leave with, or without, pay while not losing their job as they take this important personal time to focus on themselves free from professional constraints).

In some cases, if taking an authorized sabbatical is not an option, one may have to resign completely and walk away.

If you have been stuck in a particular career path for many years, you may need more time to effectively separate, discover and reconnect with your true self. In many cases our sense of self erodes or dissolves away in service to others, especially over long periods of time. Everyone is different, some may require months off to conduct their rediscovery, for others, it could take years.

Being restrained in an intense, high-pressure profession is manageable but over time the stress and strain can understandably take a toll on even the most top performance professional, leading some on a crash course to burnout, or worse, even to suicidal thoughts and tendencies. How much better would it be to take a break (sabbatical) with the likelihood of returning to your profession re-exhilarated and ready to conquer the world?

The better you prepare for your break, the less concerned you will be about the day-to-day responsibilities (part of the purpose of the break). Have some money set aside in savings. Investigate health care or insurance options, maintenance of retirement accounts and other accounts while you remain unplugged.

I had a client who lacking any preparation (but felt it was imperative to take immediate action) quit his job without notice, moved to a small coastal community, lived in a trailer and washed dishes at a restaurant to finance his break. He says it not only saved his life, but empowered him to discover new meaning and purpose in his life. (You might be surprised if you knew who was working in the kitchen at the restaurant you frequent.)

Now, he is back on the top of his game, more successful and better than before following his three-year severance. I know many people who have self-financed their sabbatical via Internet Marketing, where all they needed was an Internet-capable device and an Internet connection… and they never went back to traditional work environment.

Even so, you might consider better preparation for your sabbatical, including plans to return in some fashion, shape or form. It’s best not to burn any bridges upon your departure from service.

What you do during this extended time off is totally up to you. What is important self-focused, self-indulgent, self-sacrificing or inner exploration of self is totally individualized for each person. Do not fashion your break after anyone else’s, nor compare your break to anyone else’s. Even though you may use someone else’s break for inspiration and may even begin modeling after someone’s sabbatical that went before, let your journey unfold and change direction to better suit your own inner work, personal needs and desires.

Take this time to rediscover who you are, your inner being… Connect, or reconnect, with your life’s purpose, your individual mission and message to bring to the world. Find your authentic voice from within and celebrate by singing your song.

Focus on your individualized healing, incorporating rest and relaxation. Engage in activities that thrill you, bring a sense of joy to your soul or give you a strong sense of purpose or meaning. Take this precious time to accomplish some of the items you might love to scratch off of your bucket list.

This is your time to be or do anything you want. Consider travelling to a new location, engaging in a new field of study or trying out new hobbies. Experiment with new recreational activities and technologies, whatever piques your interest, try it; see if you like it.

Expect to emerge like the Phoenix from the ashes. The new you will be more able to achieve more, be more and offer more to the local community and the world at large than ever before.