The Scale is Broken. Stop wishing for Work Life Balance & Get Your Hustle On.

GET YOUR HEAD IN THE GAME

All that mumbo jumbo about work life balance is a crock of shit, corporate cool aid. Stop chugging it down and understand that the scale is BROKEN. There is more competition out there than ever before with communication to masses being accessible by nearly everyone on the planet.

It used to be that anything you wanted you generally got from your local vendors and purveyors. Your customers were local. They found you in the yellow pages. (Remember those?) Or maybe, they heard about you from a neighbor.

THE STRUGGLE IS REAL (I hate this saying but it’s relevant)

Giant companies and small businesses all struggle with the same thing… technology. We have so much coming at us at a time and everything is at our fingertips, so consumers are left to weed out the noise and sometimes that could be YOU!

In the 90’s, all you heard was the shift in social thinking about work and life needing a balance and how good companies were creating cushy environments for their employees so they could be happier and more productive ultimately. THEN, we got soft. Corporate culture was trying to balance the scales of people’s personal happiness in and out of work. Over the next decade with internet & social media sending this message around the globe at lightning speeds, the expectation was set and a whole workforce of entitled employees became the norm.

THE TRUTH

Building a company, creating a successful business is work. Duh. Employees being unhappy and stressed really need evaluation on a case by case basis. Are people losing their sense of balance because they have been trained to think all things should be equally fulfilling in every aspect of their lives or are they really taking on too much? Sure, there are some employers that work you to the bone and maybe don’t give a hoot about you.

Others are so “caring”, they’ve created a workplace where you can’t get things done efficiently because they want everyone to play nice. You know…those companies where so much of your work is project based in groups and we ALL remember what happened in high school. There is ALWAYS that one kid in your group that lags or has an excuse for everything so you end up picking up the slack last minute before deliverables are due.

It’s so easy for progress to slow down because everyone is trying so hard to be patient, and understanding of the work load others have because you wouldn’t want to infringe upon someone’s work life balance. Patience and understanding; these are good things. To the detriment of your sanity; not a good thing.

THE LIGHT

We are currently in the midst of a gig economy and this has sparked a revival of “work your ass off” attitude in the working community. I LOVE IT! We are seeing people say NO to the bullshit. The “Woe is Me” whining is quieting and the “Today I’m Gonna Slay” roar is finding its voice.

This attitude isn’t just for entrepreneurs. This outlook has far reaching benefits in your corporate job and in your personal life goals. Go to work. Be the most productive, best (insert your title here) that you can be and don’t make excuses for yourself. Go home. Accomplish your personal goals like it’s do or die. Whether it’s reading 3 books a month or eating better, becoming a better parent or meditating every day; do it like your life depends on it. Or better yet, like Gary Vaynerchuk says, like his family’s life depends on it.

Are you looking for a daily dose of #truth without the fluff? Here you go. Listen to this guy or this woman. They are part of the ever-growing believers that we’ve become lazy and we all could use a the random imbalances that life throws at us to grow stronger and defeat our fears of success.

Life is not balanced. The ups and downs are certain. They way we tackle those ups and downs is the measure of our progress and success.

If you want to stand out in the crowd or be known as the go to person for the services or products you provide, you have no choice but to bust your ass, be the loudest and say goodbye to balance. Eventually, you will hit a point where you are comfortable but beware. Comfort is the beginning of the end… status quo. Death.

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Your REAL 1st Impressions Suck & It’s KILLING Your Business Vibe

When I was seven years old, meeting a new person was an excruciatingly, painful experience. As an extremely shy kid, the anxiety that haunted me comes back as a clear reminder that I generally just wanted to close my eyes and pretend no one could see me.

As with most parents, mine wanted me to make a good impression on complete strangers all the time. I was to be well-behaved, say hello to adults I had never seen before (sometimes hug them if they were a long lost relative) and answer questions people asked of me but didn’t really care about.

That was nerve wracking but what would truly throw me into a tizzy was when my family would visit someone’s home and they had kids! Every adult around thought it would be more comfortable to throw me into a social circle of peers. Awkward! Adults forget what it’s like to be a kid. I almost always simply wanted to be left alone to hide behind my mother. Was that too much to ask?

As a parent, I made quite the effort to not force my kids to engage until they were comfortable. Instead, I tried to make them comfortable before the situation was in front of them. This… all because I was so impacted by that the overwhelming fear that would cripple me as a youngster.

Now, I’m sure this showed very poorly as I walked into a room with my parents which in turn caused other adults to approach me with a mission to make me comfortable. Essentially, I brought additional undue attention to myself with my body language.

As an adult I’m much better in social scenarios but there is still always a slight pang of anxiety walking into a room of strangers at a networking event, for instance. I have managed to become more comfortable in my skin but I recognize that I have a little preparation that goes into being a person that engages with the world around her. Now I’m not saying that I am necessarily shy or anxiety ridden anymore, but I do notice hesitation.

Why We Are All So Hung Up on First Impressions
At some time, most of us were taught that a first impression was the point in which we first are introduced to a person. This couldn’t be further from the truth 99% of the time.

Humans are innately more observant beings than we want to remember. Thousands of interactions per second happen all around us and we pick up on the most important. As Maslow’s hierarchy of needs states, we are firstly concerned with our physiological and safety requirements.

How does this impact our first impressions?
When you are anywhere, your senses recognize the little changes in your perimeter; sounds, temperature, moving objects, smells, etc. All these things can impact your impressions without you knowing it.

Say you are in a coffee shop as I am now. In walks a mother with two boys, a three year old and a 10 year old. The mother has a cell phone tucked between her ear and shoulder while holding the squirmy toddler who loudly desires all the sweets in the glass case. The ten year old stands quietly behind mom, patiently waiting until he is needed. In the meantime, he takes in his surroundings, watches the pup whining at the front door who has stepped in a water bowl and seems not to see or hear the chaos with his brother and mom.

As an observer, most likely you have already drawn a first impression as to who this mom is and the natures of her two children by this one moment in time. This is a bit of a more extreme scenario but the meaning of the example is to point out that we all observe and conclude very quickly.

You May Be Killing Your Own Business
This means you are always “on”. This is one of the things I tell my clients every time we are about to step out into public, they are walking into an important meeting or going out onto a large stage to give a talk or lecture. It IS a scary thought but it’s an important factor to success. If you do not recognize that your body language is your most prominent form of communication for first impressions, then you have already lost the potential connection.

The moment you walk into someone’s presence in a space large or small, if they have glanced at you, they have already sized you up. This either leaves them curious about you or unimpressed. In a business scenario, wouldn’t you rather them be curious?

Owning the Room
The blond bombshell, movie star Marilyn Monroe, owned the space when she entered, stepped out or made any appearances. She was very deliberate about her behaviors and the way she was perceived in public.

OWN IT!

So how will you own the room first so you aren’t plagued with unintended first impressions? Un-training yourself is not an easy process but plenty of experts will tell you that this is a process of creating a habit to change your outlook and it CAN be done. Your brain can only handle so many anxious instructions just before giving a speech in front of your peers, doing a pitch on Shark Tank or just walking into your first networking event.

Social dynamic expert, Jordan Harbinger, has studied and mastered these observations and how they can cripple a career. He offers some very helpful ways to work on your presence through his site and podcast, Art of Charm, and even has a 30 day challenge to up your perceived value.

A primary purpose of a publicist is to ensure client’s are perceived in a positive light and this if often accomplished through media training. Art of Charm is media training with plenty of science behind it for the curious minds who need validation to improve oneself.

Create the Habit
Jordan has a great suggestion to get you on the way to owning a room. Create the threshold habit. Every time you walk through a threshold, lift your head, stretch your shoulders back with chest upright. He says this posture is a welcoming and confident. I’m sure it will take some time but if this becomes habit, you’ll be owning the room in no time.

Mom always said chin up, shoulders back. Guess she was right.