Trust

ArchangleStMichaelTrust  – A big issue for most people.

Personal trust; trusting that you are good at what you do, that you are likable, that people feel about you the way they say they do and that the people you trust will be loyal.

Professional trust, that the person you have hired will do the job they were given, that it will get done well and with care. After all you are paying for that trust.. It’s also, your partner really having your back and advocating for the good of you and the business.

The two are not exclusive but both are necessary to being happy and successful.

I had an instance where a colleague, a partner really, did not come through for me. I know he was having a hard time personally and we had been working together for a while so I cut him some slack. It completely backfired on me. He did not pull it together and a lot of the job was wrong and unusable. He really screwed me. I know it’s business, so feelings need to be somewhat removed but I had known the guy since the 90s and I felt totally betrayed.

The job was headed south from the beginning. Late samples, like the pitch meeting was half over when the materials arrived late, no real bid – ever, just the bill at the end, no proofs – not one and then there were the misprints and material failures. Now, I am slow to being a bitch, it’s to my detriment often and my fault I did not start pitching a fit sooner. It’s not my style and honestly, if I have hired you to do a job, then I expect the job to be done. I am not your mother, why do I have to yell or get pissed off? In the end I think it has saved me future jobs with him with similar outcomes. Needless to say my client never wants to hear the name of that company again… and it makes me a bit sad, but I am very happy to be working with people that for the moment I trust.

Now, the poor fellow who is the replacement is under a microscope. I did warn him I have a bit of PTSD with this project, so he just needs to budget in some “client be crazy” time.. We’ll see this week what that line item looks like.

In the personal arena, my dear talent and kind husband doubts it whenever anyone expresses that they like him. Me included, I think.. It effects his friendship, but most notably with his casual friends or  acquaintances. Most recently his relationships at work. The only thing you have to go on in these cases is what people tell you.. and if they call you in to work. These employers do both, they tell him they really like having him there and they call him all the time. It’s not a world you want to get too comfortable, we get that, but by all accounts, they like him. Learning to trust that is another matter.

Bye for now. Thank you

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The Outgoing Introvert:

Have you ever noticed how numbers are then same in almost every western language. I guess in the eastern languages they are different, but in most of the ancient ones they are very similar, even if in sound only, including the Gaelic I have been using. Another clear link to our sameness.

The Outgoing Introvert: An outgoing introvert is able to relate to other people easily, but needs to be alone in order to recharge and feel better.

It’s a term that has been popping up in my sphere for the last week.. I think finally I have found a term that fits me. I have often joked that I would be very happy on a deserted island and my friends all look at me like I am nuts, “No way, you love talking to people, you are so social.” Not really true. I am fascinated by peoples motivations.. not the person themselves necessarily and honestly the quiet life is or me. I have an internal struggle between having a basic mistrust of humanity and on an individual level feeling very comfortable talking to anyone. I know that on a moments notice a crowd of people can and will turn into a murderous mob. While I also trust that a friend will do whatever they can to help, if asked. I know that I need people, that is how we run business, how we do anything in the socialized world and so I try and collect people who are excellent and understand sometimes I need to disappear for a few days.

I had a friend once who could not handle it at all. He would berate me and get incredibly angry with me, “But I needed you!” ..  The need was more to spend endless hours on the phone talking about other people I did not know or care about and bitch about how “hard” life is. Spending hours on the phone is torture. That said I always felt guilty I couldn’t be the friend he wanted me t be. So we parted ways.

The other part that I was relieved to read is some of us have some social awkwardness that I have always felt.. my friends always tell me I am over analyzing it and that we are all awkward. The TED talk on shame really illuminated that at least I am not crazy and that we do all have some issues with social grace.

I know that I am a bit “different” in my approach, but I am learning to embrace it. I decide to be friends with someone and then, maybe slightly aggressively, pursue them. Sometimes it works out. It is not a sexual thing at all, I have a husband that I love. It is more I will meet someone that I actually like genuinely (not that common an occurrence) and I do what I can to bring them into my life. As an adult there are not a lot of places to “make friends”. I just insist on making those shared experiences that are at the foundation of friendship one meal and coffee at a time. It has worked out great in a few cases. In others it became clear that there was a reason our paths don’t cross. I blame my picker on those.. in those cases I didn’t pick people who are good for me to be around in the long run. Those that worked, make the others worth it.

I also deeply believe that people come into our lives to teach us things. When the lesson is complete, those people go.

If you are like me this is a great article: Thought Catalog

This one is my favorite – 8. You’re accused of being flirty with everybody, which is hilarious, because in reality, you can only tolerate like four people.

After years of therapy, I finally realized that my Dad is an introvert and that is why he is so socially adversent, despite being very graceful and why, yes, he drank so much. The shyness is just too much for him and the alcohol was his medicine to get through it. He now lives by himself, gleefully, and spends most of his days alone, very happily. He is a golfer, so he gets to go be among people, but not really need to interact except with those few he chooses to play a round with.

I finally get it and I realized that he and I are even more alike than I thought.

Bye for now. Thank you

Crew Are People Too

 

Lessons from the Edge

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The great Jeff M. and his amazing EMT crew

As a daughter of a union organizer, how my crew and my employees are treated is very important to me. It is not just a moral or integrity issue with me, it is also a quality issue.

A crew that is well paid, fed, had a decent turn around in a habitable hotel and feels they are respected; work harder, give more and are more willing to go that extra bit to make sure your event, project, whatever is perfect. They also are more likely to be loyal.. not just to the person who hired them, but to the brand they are working for. Collaboration and teamwork are what make a great event. All parties working together for the common goal.

In the recent past I worked with a client that insisted on treating all of us like the “hired help”. While some of this was cultural, all of it was unnecessary. This behavior made all our jobs much harder. The effect this had on the morale was palpable and it was difficult getting to the goal line. The event went off smoothly and the client in the end was happy, but at a cost.

For those out there who’s management style looks more like a Feudal System.. a word of warning, your employees, crew or whomever you rely on to keep you at the top, will take their pound and when the invaders come.. you will be standing alone.

Bottom Line: It’s the 21st Century and “Team” is the ruling philosophy.

Shaking the tree

It’s the people you meet along the way that help keep you going. Sometimes it is someone who you don’t even really know, but you admire that inspires you to keep at it. To keep chipping away and shaking the tree.

Today I am having lunch with an executive who I had the great pleasure of working with a few times and have made a point to saying in touch with. He is exceptionally busy so a social life is not high on is list, and keeping the connection alive has been almost entirely on me. My commitment to maintaining a relationship is almost entirely selfish. I want to absorb his style of professionalism. Having working with hundreds of bosses and executives, this one seems to have found the right proportion of authority, kindness and collaborative spirit that I would like to emulate more of. In the meetings I have been in with him, there is no question as to his alpha-ness and so he then has room to really listen and get consensus. Some of that is title and experience, but it is also his method of management. So, I want to be his friend and learn from him.

Now, maintaining a strictly platonic connection with a man, as a woman, outside of the normal flow of life is tricky. We do not work at the same place, we do not do the same thing, he is a carrier executive, I am a career entrepreneur.. we do not live in the same city – our kids do not go to the same schools. In fact his kids. I am sure, are grown-ups. You see what I mean.

The boundaries are clear, but anytime a woman pushes for a friendship of any kind it is considered flirting. While he is attractive, that is not the intended outcome. Even big A joked last night when my new friend reached out, “Don’t go to his hotel room.” Duh! Not a joke and not funny. Would he have said that to another man?

So a quick lunch before he runs back to airport it is.

In the book I am reading, the author is talking about the peoplConfucius03e who populate your life and influence you. She writes, “You are the average of the five people you spend the most time with.” This really stuck with me. I had always heard the Confucius statement on this, “you are judged by the company you keep”, but that has more to do with the external world.. This new one has more to do with your influencers.. and it caught me. Who are the five people I spend most of my time with? My son, my husband, my friend and GM, … then it trails off pretty quickly. I need more people in my life who are closer to what I do. Some of it is being busy and my friends, who do other things, are busy, doing other things. We txt and occasionally find a moment to get together and catch-up, but to say they are present in my day to day is not really true.

I joined a book club for female entrepreneurs, I reached out to my executive and will take it from there.
You climb a mountain one step at a time.

Bye for now. Thank you

 

5:30am

10418388_10152943895882049_2928323422252169225_n5:30am is in that wonderful pocket of time when the city is still sleeping and all is quiet. There is a lightness to the air and you can almost smell dawn coming. I love this time in the morning. It has been described as the lowest hour, when everything is still and quiet. When I was working in film we would often either be just getting to work now or finishing, depending on the time in the week and I always loved the way the city felt at this time. It made the agony of getting up worth it.

Why am I awake now today? Lists … my mind was on a loop of things that need doing, so I decided just to get up. Even our dog, Edi, is still asleep..

Lists and lists, personal and professional, current and future, short term and long term, they like to start presenting themselves usually about 4:30am and like today sometimes I just give up and get up.

When I get like this I try and steer my mind to a gratitude list. That usually helps. It usually goes something like this:

  • I am grateful for my health.
  • I am grateful for my beautiful, smart and funny son.
  • I am grateful for my accepting and loving husband.
  • I am grateful for my goofy and loyal dog.
  • I am grateful for the support and love of my friends.
  • I am grateful for the roof over my head.
  • I am grateful for the food in my fridge and the money in the bank.
  • I am grateful to do what I love to do and get paid for it.

and so on .. like counting sheep sometimes I can even get back to sleep. Not today though.

Work keeps creeping back in. Emails I need to send, conversations I need to have and/or start.. The short of it is I need an assistant. I think I will start looking for one next week.

Asking for help is still not a strong skill of mine. Being a latchkey only child, fending for myself is what I do. It’s what I have always done. To add, when I was a kid and would ask for help, my mother’s response was often,”figure it out, no one likes a helpless person” and from the other side was a resounding “Yes” and then nothing would happen or they would disappear. I would end up figuring it out on my own anyway. It is not the best way to do anything and the more work we get, the more I would like to delegate. The desire is there.. now to find someone, and then, drum roll please, trust them to get it done.

Holding peoples feet to the fire, as it were, to me is crazy. I am not their mother, if they are getting paid to do a job, then DO the job, do it well and on time. I have been burned pretty badly by a couple of people who were supposed to be supporting me and getting shit done, and they totally did not do what they were supposed to. My piece is I should have been more on them and bitchier, but that’s not fun or what I want either. It’s the part of “manager” that sucks and to be honest a little confusing to me.

I am too understanding and supportive as a boss. Sounds good right? It’s actually a problem. Working should be fun. Fun means working with friends. I am learning that actually, being a boss and being a friend can’t necessarily occupy the same space. Knowing this, and knowing I need to be tougher does not help my anxiety around getting more help.

Not to mention more assistants means actually, more work. It’s just different work than the making of the spreadsheet.. It’s managing the making of the spreadsheet and making sure they produce a spreadsheet everyone will understand, including me… sigh.. round and round

Back to my lists –

  • Email Client #1
  • Email Client #2
  • Laundry
  • Grocery Store
  • Get Demo of Project Management Software
  • Social Media Posting
  • Touch base with partner of that other project
  • Track down payments

Bye for now. Thank you

Pinstripe at the ready

Hello,

Shaking the money tree is not only fun but damn hard work. I am very tired this morning.

I landed an interview/meeting with an agency I have long admired. BKA is a mid to large sized events agency in midtown that has always, to me, seemed like where the cool kids work. After about a year or two of following them on Twitter, Linked-In and other outlets,  I have enjoyed their posts and comments. I also would look at the profiles of their executives on linked-in, one looked back. I saw him on my “Viewer” list and I reached out. He also got his start in life as a film person, so I felt I could mine a connection there.

The irony here, I was not really looking for work (although I am always on the look out for work opportunities. Loving what I do and loving to work, I’m like junky always on hunt for my next hit.) I am always looking for good events people and this person was obviously that, so I instead invited him to send me a resume, but if BKA was ever looking for freelancers, then I would LOVE to “partner” with them. A handful of emails later and POW I am meeting with them on Friday.

Hair appointment made and Pinstripe is at the ready.

After talking yesterday about fear, today’s writing is the result of going for it and being fearless – following your own drum and having faith that people are generally good.

I have the most trouble with the last statement there.. people in my experience run the gamut. Being an outgoing introvert is, umm a challenge. The Manic-depressive feelings it brings are frustrating.. and learning to pace myself with my exposure to people has been key. Like everyone knows that the holidays are going to be gluttonous, I know that a big job is going to require being immersed in people and their personalities. So in the run up, I stay as solitary as possible. Luckily my husband and son don’t factor in as “people”. They are like my batteries, recharging me and my faith. If there is no plan, eventually I kind of overload and have to literally disappear  for a day or two(if you are an introvert, you know what I am talking about).. not good in a freelance, people driven business. Ah, the situations we put ourselves in to teach us to cope. The subconscious and the Universe definitely have a sense of humor.

Have to go for now. Thank you

 

Staying coachable

Morning,

Staying coachable is something you hear a lot in the self help books, talks, conferences and sales meetings. It’s a quality that managers are looking for and it is a good thing to be. It goes way beyond just a specific task or job.

I have often longed for, but never found a mentor. It a seems like that would be a great thing to have. Someone to guide you, help you through without re-inventing the wheel all the time and someone who you could really turn to when things got confusing and hard and say, “Is it me?” and get a straight, hard answer. This is my fantasy of what a mentor relationship would looking like, mostly pieced together from the movies. Big A suggested that some people just are not cut out for mentoring and there for don’t every really find one. Don’t get me wrong, I have great friends who I lean on and get advice from, and they are incredibly helpful on a host of levels. I would be sunk without them, truly. They are involved in my life in a very mixed way. My fantasy mentor is much more objective and in some ways more blunt than a friend could ever be.

There are places you can go to hire mentors and coaches. I am sure that some of them are very good. I wonder though does this become the focus, getting coached, instead of just learning the lessons presented to you.

Life is a great teacher. In the absents of a single mentor I have always tried to stay reflective and analytical about my experiences and then adjust my actions and sometimes even my course. Most things I do, I keep and eye out for what works and what does not. I get feedback from the other people involved. Looking at the big picture and ask, “Is this worth it, am I getting to where I want to be?” Reviewing the smaller momentary interactions, to the actual tasks that needed to get done and done well. I think I “post mortem” just about everything in my life, to a fault sometimes. Every opportunity and action is a learning opportunity, not just intellectually but personally too. This is not to say there are not themes that circle around and come back more often than I would like but, even those are the opportunity of, “Ugh.. got to learn that one better, obviously.”

My discovery has been that if you feel your life is moving in an upward spiral or like a stream, that there is advancement and evolution of any kind, then you are winning. This is not measured against anyone else’s evolution or path, but what you know about yourself without the noise. Heraclitus affirmed that you can never step into the same river twice. It is still a river. It still flows. You are still experiencing it at the same location and vista, but the river has evolved. Be the river.

The great barrier to life is fear. Fear stops everything. All thought, all creativity, all evolution, all feeling and nothing can grow. It is arid and barren.

6bc1855315eb3b59466821caaddd28e1Another quote I like a lot is, “Fear is excitement without breath.” I like this as an idea. This is true when you are talking about walking into a new situation or a job interview, but I am talking about the fear that keeps you from making the changes, seeing the lessons that you need to grow and do to find happiness. I often visualize that I am in a boxing ring with Fear. He has red satin shorts and a Mexican devil mask. Yes, he hits hard and sometimes, even though it’s my visualization.. he knocks me out and sometimes that is just what I need to get me mad enough to snap out of it. Anger is the other side of fear. If you can get there, that is easier to use as motivation. (Some people say sadness is the other side of fear.. I say take your pansy ass back to hippyland and get outa my face.) The idea is to get on with it anyway way you can. Staying in that pool will not lead to anything good.

A dear friend of mine is stuck and in a cycle of fear, shame and doubt. I wish for them something to knock them out of it and start something new or a new way. Something…

Be the river..

ποταμοῖσι τοῖσιν αὐτοῖσιν ἐμβαίνουσιν, ἕτερα καὶ ἕτερα ὕδατα ἐπιρρεῖ.
Potamoisi toisin autoisin embainousin, hetera kai hetera hudata epirrei
“Ever-newer waters flow on those who step into the same rivers.”

Bye for now. Thank you