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Arrogance vs Confidence…PFFFF…

Have you ever been called arrogant? Have you ever been on a wild high of continual success and feeling like there is no turning back? The feeling of just going to be good times from here on out?

I, like everyone else, have my good days and my bad days. I also have my streaks and my ruts. The question is:

How do people perceive you when you are on a high, a winning streak that is flowing and no one can touch you?

My experience that I will share with you comes from a networking event where someone told me that I was “Arrogant” (this happens often especially with girls).  I almost stuttered in my response but not because I was offended but because I didn’t know why the person would through that out. What possible reasoning would a person have to make such a remark when they don’t even know the other person they just met?

As I started to do a memory dump of all the possible reasons, I stopped myself and responded with… its confidence… smiled and continued with… I do things right…

How can someone believe that someone else is arrogant without getting to know them firs? Is this a loss opportunity? I think so! Understanding that the two can be confused is one thing, not trying to learn the difference is another thing, which I conveniently call ignorance.

Let’s face it. Running a marathon is fun and games until you start doing well in it. Then you start to boast about how awesome it is and once you get committed you boast about how you have become so good at it and maybe it is time for the iron man. You start to give advice and spew confidence of all the right things you have done to improve.

Is this arrogance?  I think not!

Best example I can provide is with the resent success of Ray Lewis and the Baltimore Ravens. Look at the success this man has had. He pushed and pushed his team to victory.

Moral of the story is… there is a difference between the two. If you are confident don’t shy away when someone calls you arrogant. There is a list of things we can say to these people who assume you are arrogant. Fact is, confidence will prevail in how you conduct yourself.

I don’t live life to the fullest… what should I do?

Recently had someone ask me the question, “I don’t live life to the fullest, what should I do?” and quite frankly didn’t know how to answer. So I have pondered it for a while and here goes. I asked what is it that they need right now in their life and they said “enjoyment”. The following question was simple to ask but hard to answer… what does enjoyment mean?

I realized over the past few years that life is simple. Life becomes difficult when we get stuck in this process of emotional un-attachment to our inner selves. We want something but how do we get it especially when we don’t know what it is we want.

What about Soul Searching?

I think not! I don’t believe in this process of searching for one self’s inner being. I don’t believe in searching for something that we don’t know how to find. Why? I am a logical, realistic person who believes that life brings you to events based on previous decisions. I have sat and pondered while doing the whole soul searching adventure and I realized until I try things out I won’t know what I like.

So what did I recommend to this person?

Make a list of things you don’t want to do… and simply don’t do them (Just like the commercial).

Focus on doing anything but those. Opportunity arises for something, ask yourself:

Is this something I don’t want to be doing?

The simple fact is that if you know you won’t want to be doing it then it won’t make you happy to be doing it. So how can you live your life to the fullest if you continually do stuff that you don’t like to do?

Getting rid of these will immediately change your life.  Trying new things involve patience and time. If you are in a place where you don’t want to be, change where you are by moving to something that isn’t on your list of things you don’t want to be doing!

Sanity? You have some??

Sanity? I have some…

Today marks the 28th of January and as every year I start planning for the year objectively and logically. I start looking at my business in a non biased way and align my vision to my goals, both the long term and short term. Sometimes it is fun and others it is a challenge, sanity you ask? Sanity comes in the process, where the process isn’t an hour nor a day but several days and really a roller coaster ride that has lasted over this past month.

So where does sanity come into play?

Well, that’s the thought that crossed my mind when I looked back at some moves I made this past year. Some risks I took and others I didn’t take.

So I ask:

Do you take the time to think about the risks of 2012?

Many people don’t look back. Many strive to avoid looking at mistakes as well as the wins. I believe that part of it comes from all this positive talk in social media and also from the day to day activities that don’t give us the time to reflect.
So, I decided to make a list of the things I do to analyze and gather my thoughts for the future. It is something that has worked over the years and I thought I would share it!

The Process:

1. Review the goals you set for 2012
2. List the wins of 2012
3. List the losses of 2012
4. Organize the why things happened
5. Organize the why you want or don’t want things to happen again
6. Create your top ten
7. Paste the list on your white board and read it every day

Why this process?

It is logical and it is beneficial to see everything as a timeline. We need to focus on the wins as we do on the losses. We need to become aware of the actions we took so we either repeat them or avoid them in the future.
Making the new goals for 2013 becomes easier once we are able to see the past and focus on making it in the following year. If you follow a process (doesn’t need to be mine) you are able to organize your thoughts and maintain calmness and your sanity. As small business owners, we are aware of the psychological torment that can accompany an individual running a business. Setting up procedures like this brings one back to level ground where decisions can be made without emotional attachments!

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PS. If you are wondering why I am sending this at the end of January… well I procrastinate… plus, I don’t want you to take this as a new year’s resolution… Now that the ugly and slow January is out of the way start planning!

The NIKOS: the third person approach!

Are you a regretful person? Do you regret a lot of things you do? Sometimes they torture you? Pardon the French but do you ever say to yourself: “#@?! was I thinking?”

I used to! I think everyone does. Don’t have stats on it but I am pretty sure everyone I talk to has had that moment and if you haven’t, come for a coffee and quick chat and I will make sure you say it… the question is why? Why do we get into these situations?

Simple: it’s the EMOTION!

Your emotion controls many decisions in a given day. From what you wear to what you do, where you go, how you say things, what you say, and so on. Emotions guide us and if you read up on the brain, emotion is a part of our decision making process.

So what’s the cure? Well there is no cure but we can create a behavioral process to lower the average amount of times you get into a regretful situation. How you ask?

Simple: Talk in third person!

Nikos is the best! Nikos rocks! Nikos, Nikos, Nikos… NO!  I don’t mean this!

Third person approach is much different. It is an art that is developed over time! You must take your time learning the technique. You put yourself in a baby step learning process.

The third person approach works like a charm when engaged in any situation where a decision will be made and emotion is part of it.

Examples include, should I buy something? Should I go to sleep? Should I do my homework? Should I spend time with a person I don’t like? Should I be getting advice? Should I, Should I, Should I…

When making critical decisions to problems, I use this process (replace with your name):

  1. Calm yourself down with a coffee or something that relaxes you
  2. Analyze the problem analytically
  3. Calm yourself down again by forgetting the problem
  4. Create the options that exist to the decisions
  5. Say:  What is the best decision here for Nikos? Nikos, it is best for you to… because… and you will not regret it for the following reasons, Etc.
  6. Write it down to have the why of your decision handy
  7. Remind yourself that you made the decision for the reasons…..
  8. DONE!

Try this for a few months… it will be hard but the advantages will change your mood. You will be happier in every decision you make. You will become a decision making GURU…

How did I come about this?

When running your own business situations come up where you need to make a critical decision. Sometimes you can get advice and sometimes you can’t. This process came about when I thought to myself, WHAT WOULD I RECOMMEND TO A CLIENT?

Magically the decision to use third person was an excellent choice… Simply put, AWESOME!

 

 

Believe me … or DON’T

I am running a marathon… or at least I think.. last few months now… is it will or hope? The question I often ask myself!

I am actually running a marathon in the arctic, barefoot and shirtless.  When starting a new venture you analyze all and take risks… risks I took.

Small business is all about risk. Whether you quit your job to start a venture… or you build on it over time… to take the plunge, one thing is for certain… you made a choice and now you need to keep going!

The usual trip of an entrepreneur starts with a dream. Starts with a dream that aims to make things better! As things progress, one begins to think that all is good and success is on the way. As the wheal starts to role, one begins to gain great confidence only to be shut down with reality a short while later.

What happens? What turns the tide from happiness to disparity?

Reality! Yes, reality hits and we realize that the business world was not as we thought it would be. All the sudden success isn’t as promised (as we thought) nor as we expected.  We are now chasing a dream and not a goal. The key word here is goal. People get stuck in an adventure hoping that all goes well but when do we know to go on or quit?

I like to think that this is the point we start analyzing where we are at. Can we figure it out or do we need help? Can we keep going or should we quit? The questions are there but do we have an answer…

The point that we need is to stop and think, and say yes, we need a break from reality, we need a break from fakeness… we need a chance at a new beginning.  This is the point where we stop, no thinking, not actions, just being still.

Stillness is the key to my success. I absorb all my emotions (negative and positive) and allow them to settle down. Usually this is during my coffee break! I create a mind map of things that need to be done to change the tide and jump on the first idea that I think will bring me success.  This is the stage where we reset and align our actions with the goals!

Why does it work for me?

It works for one reason… when you have no emotion in an idea you have no biased opinion… you are using your mind, your knowledge and experience.

My next article will be all about my “NIKOS strategy”; the third person approach! Conveniently the cure to regret!

Smart or Smarter?

FACT: everyone thinks they are smarter than the other! Why waste that time worrying about little things in life? When working with someone do you find it frustrating that a person is acting like they know everything but you seem to do all the work? While working with a client and a few of his partners on a consult, I realized that they had a big problem: “No one valued each other’s intellectual ability”

Fact is they didn’t trust each other. Big problem don’t you think?

I was standing in a typical example of a person not respecting the other thinking they were always right and always smarter. This applied for each of the partners on to each other… further this, it trickled down to the whole team of employees! Thought I was in Ramsy’s Kitchen Nightmares…

What did we do? We had a session on what everyone is good at looking at their strengths and weaknesses. Surprisingly, they all had both segments. What a relief.

We started talking all together and analyzed the opportunity cost for each person’s time spent on what the other was doing, trying to make it better or redoing work. The ROI on everything was causing them to be so inefficient that they were latterly bleeding their wallets dry. Further that, they had given up on the business and wanted to end it.

The process was simple:

  1. State what you are good at and what you like to do, then focus on it
  2. State what you are NOT good at and what you DO NOT like to do, then simply don’t do it
  3. Mind your business over a period of 3 to 4 weeks while everything is being monitored
  4. Analyze the performance in a meeting
  5. Figure out a solution and implement it if required

Point is that we spend too much time in other people’s business. We spend too much time trying to fix the other instead of trusting them and helping them develop that skill… Trust is crucial especially in a growing company. If there isn’t any then it must be developed or an exit of one person must occur.

Jimmy Kimmel on Negativity... Problems and Positive (ness)

Negativity – Society Norm to Avoid by Deflecting with Positiveness

Jimmy Kimmel on Negativity... Problems and Positive (ness)

Jimmy Kimmel on Negativity… Problems and Positive (ness)

Had a thought: I am not negative but everyone who says I’m negative is truly negative. How did I come up with this? Well after several years of reading a whole bunch of books on every religion, spirituality and emotional intelligence, I realized that society has started this new vibe of being “POSITIVE”, and wow is it ever bad. Here is how I see it:

  1. Someone comes into my life and I’m pretty happy with everything.
  2. They start feeding me their garbage about how happy their life is but really it is not… (We live in a country that breeds “Live to Work” mentality)
  3.  I listen to their problems and realize that they have issues but by this point it is too late. I am sucked in.
  4. I say something that is causing me anguish
  5. I am labeled as negative by this person

What is interesting?  These people full of negativity try to be positive, wasting all their energy on a process that eventually fails. They suppress their emotions and hold everything in attempting to be positive. The break eventually comes… my frustration is dealing with people who tell me I am negative…

Example: I have no money in my account and I’m bitching about it because my clients are not paying me… response, bro don’t me negative!

Really? That’s being negative? That being realistic! I am actually asking for help in this scenario. One aspect of this help is that I want someone to listen and the other is that I need a solution. What happens though? People see this as negative. I will tell you what negative is in my eyes:

  1. Starts with someone thinking they can’t do something.
  2. They try in a mediocre way and they fail.
  3. Then they try again in the same way and fail again.
  4.  They repeat and bam! They are in a loop.
  5.  They don’t try to change the loop and it just continues knowing they will keep failing!

How do you deal with negativity?

Well firstly you need to understand whether you have a problem with something or not. If it’s a problem and can be fixed easy… then fix it. If it is a problem that continually arises, then you have this “negativity” that will start to build.  It is not the problem you have to fix but the process you are in that creates these similar problems.  Analyzing the process is not simple and generally needs you to dedicate a lot of time! So be patient, breath and keep going!