How are your New Year's resolutions coming along? 

Are you still doing it?

Or did you give up?

If you gave up, I'm sure you know there are many people like you but, let's be honest, you only want to be part of that group if you truly do not care about your goal or changing something in your life. 

In the last post, we discussed rewording your resolution so that WHAT you are trying to achieve is more compelling and personal to you. 

It helps you stop and say "Damn straight that's MY goal! Now watch me get it!"

Unfortunately, defining the What is not enough. You need the reason Why. 

Last week we used the example of someone trying to lose 50 pounds and reframed the goal to serve the purpose of being healthier overall so that Jack could prevent having another heart attack.

When there are real personal stakes involved, a goal becomes much more important and you become much more likely to pursue it.

 

Your Task

Here is what you do. Once you have followed last week's instructions to define the goal in more succinct and personal terms, answer this question:

Why does that thing matter to me? Why do I care so much about that singular thing?

 

Such a simple question but it trips up so many people. It takes more than a second of self reflection so many people do not come up with the Why and they subsequently fail their resolution.

Taylor Wilkins, Work Hive's own community manager, has helped hundreds of entrepreneurs and 9-5 workers answer this question about their professional goals. He says, 

"It's astounding how many people go to work every day and do not understand why they do it, why they work that job, and what about that job is even interesting to them. Entrepreneurs naturally have a lot of passion for their industry or cause, and can tell me why they are starting the business (what world change they hope to serve) but they are often stopped in their tracks when I ask 'Why do you care about doing that, though? Why does it have to be YOU that addresses that issue?' This stops them because they have to dig down even deeper inside of themselves and identify what truly drives them. People have a hard time doing that."

 

These questions are powerful for entrepreneurs and other professionals, but they can be applied to every area of one's life.

  • Why do you care about exercising every morning?
  • Why do you care about drinking at that particular bar on the weekends?
  • Why do you choose the kinds of vacations that you do?
  • And of course, why do you care about the goals you choose to set?
  • If you choose to lose 50 pounds, why do you care enough to lose 50 pounds? What about losing that weight is unique to your life and health?

If you answer this question about your New Year's resolution and you realize that it is not somehow about you or serving your wellbeing, go back to the What and start again. 

We would rather you stop and make the resolution more appropriate to you than go on with a resolution that you will fail to achieve. 

Published in Coworking Blog

Freelancing is tough. There is no way around it. Even though freelancers enter into the realm of self-employment willingly, few are naive enough to think that the road will not be a rocky one.

Choosing to become a freelancer requires the acknowledgement of two things:

  1. a desire for freedom
  2. personal skills and value

Anyone who has ever become a freelancer haphazardly either encountered a painful learning curve or quickly returned to a different job setting.

The irony that a lot of freelancers forget is that being a freelancer does not mean that you completely eliminate a boss from your life, but instead it means you choose to take on the responsibility yourself...in addition to every other responsibility.

Whether you are blinded by the freedom or you have been mentally preparing for the switch for months, the greatest challenge of freelancing is the unpredictability. 

This scares many people, but, though daunting, it does not in fact have to be negative.

Kerry Needs, a British copywriter in her fourth year of freelancing, posted an article in her blog about how to handle the inconsistencies of the work all by yourself:

See a lack of work as a new opportunity.

As she puts it, "I like to think about the hustle that comes from periods where I’m low on work like walking into a sweet shop. There, I get to look through a variety of options and search for exactly what will feel tasty and satisfying."

It is a built in time period in which you can reassess or explore what you find interesting in your work and where you want to take your brand going forward. Maybe you have been craving work from a certain kind of company. Your lack of work offers the perfect opportunity to reach out to and make connections in that industry.

When work dries up for whatever reason, freelancers can suddenly realize just how isolated they have made themselves in the world.

Lonely does not mean alone.

Tony Robbins teaches "every problem is a question that has not yet been asked". Needs corroborates this by mentioning the way that there is a solution to every problem in the world now, and access to that solution is easier than it has ever been.

All you have to do is ask the right question: what kind of help do I need right now?

Whatever it may be, your answer provides a direction to navigate through the loneliness and loop you back to the empowering freedom of creative exploration for which you became a freelancer in the first place.

Published in Coworking Blog

In American society, the word Success is more than just a trendy buzz word. It is a pervasive mindset that has saturated our entire professional landscape.

We all seek it, we all think we need it, and apparently it is the benchmark by which our value in society is judged.

But what the heck is it?

Let's be honest, certain thoughts come most frequently to mind when you think of success, notably financial wealth. But if you ask a hundred people what success is, you will likely receive close to a hundred different answers.

Everyone's definition of success, in reality, is completely subjective.

If everyone has their own unique definition for success, why then do we all feverishly claw our way through our workdays in order to be seen as successful on the societal level?

Alain de Botton, a British philosopher and author, presented a TED talk on this topic. In his talk, he discusses how American society is a meritocracy in which everyone feels so entitled to deserve their position in life and their career.

As a result, this entitlement creates a society in which there seemingly "must" always be a winner and a loser - hence hierarchies within companies and governments - and subsequently leads to a higher prevalence of suicide in developed countries because "we take failure so much more personally", as though it is a reflection of the quality of our existence.

de Botton goes on to discuss how ours is the "first society of people that only worship themselves." As Americans subscribe to religious belief systems less and less, we identify our own deities, often times around us on a daily basis: those whose success we see as the landmark for which to strive.

With no governing body in charge of what success actually is, though, we often panic and come up with what we think others are striving for and what society would accept as success.

Rarely do we recognize the opposite: the fact that, since there is no common law about success, we have total personal freedom to define our own unique criteria and our own unique life path to get there.

de Botton's presentation is titled A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success for the sake of reminding us to take a breath and consider what our own idea of success is. To be gentler and kinder to ourselves and the pressures we place on ourselves for growth and achievement.

If you were asked "What is success?", how would you respond?

What are your specific criteria for success in your specific life?

Better yet, what factors influence your definition of success?

Published in Coworking Blog

Ralph Waldo Emerson is often credited for the famous quote "Life is a journey, not a destination."

The quote is unfortunately often used as generic motivation about how beautiful life is or as an inspirational quote under your senior picture in the high school yearbook.

Josh Ellis, the editor-in-chief of Success magazine, however, argues that it actually represents a modern attitude toward success.

In this spring's issue of Success, Ellis discusses his own journey of success and how it never turned out to be about the destination at all:

"Based on my personal experience and my understanding of [this magazine's] values, I have to say this: Success is not the goal. Success is the process. The journey. The way you feel and the energy that is created on your way to whatever your goal may be. It's you, striving for something."

Tony Robbins similarly espouses the idea that "Progress equals happiness. Even if you are not where you want to be yet. If you are on the road, if you're improving, if you're making progress, you're going to love it. You're gonna feel alive."

Both gentlemen argue that the end goal only matters because it inspires you to pursue it, and that the actions, lessons, and experiences within that pursuit is the true marker of success.

Success is the whole tapestry. All of the different colored threads, dyes, images, frays, etc. that go into the final product.

Acknowledging the success of the journey relieves you of the pressure to make sure that the end goal of that journey is the ultimate, end-all-be-all singular one emblem of achievement because, in reality, the actions, lessons, and experiences along the way will always affect your idea of what that final outcome will look and feel like.

Much like how a writer writes a whole novel without knowing how it is going to end until the story gets there, this new success mindset presents the opportunity for you to leave the outcome open-ended and for you to leave yourself open minded to whatever other opportunities may arise along the way.

Published in Coworking Blog

These days, the elephant in the office is the fact that Millennials are saturating the departments of long standing, old-fashioned corporations, and a buzzing topic in the blog-o-sphere is what "non-millennial-aged" employees ought to do to adjust.

A lot of the buzz demonizes millennials in that they diminish the "older" employees' significance and contribution to the company.

Medium.com's Youth, Now magazine featured an article by Ross McCammon, former editor at magazines such as Men's Health and Popular Mechanics, in which he shares seven lessons that he learned from Millennials about work:

  1. Age doesn't matter at all.
  2. Closed offices are not desirable.
  3. Acting old is not good for camaraderie.
  4. Pivoting jobs within a company is acceptable.
  5. Mentorship is not defined by age.
  6. Learn to let things go.
  7. Stay hungry for personal growth.

For McCammon, the real shift was a mental one. He says, "They care how good you are. And how kind. And how willing you are to collaborate. They don’t care how old you are. But they do care about how old you seem." The epitome of the modern flexibility and lack of defined hierarchy within an office space is when McCammon describes mentorship and collaboration with Millennials:

"Help them. Because you know things and have seen things. And you are inured to certain events, like mass layoffs and budget cuts. You know how to cope. Your stalwart attitude is a model. But also admit what you don’t know. There’s nothing more humble than saying to a younger colleague, “You’re better at this than me. You should do it, and I’ll watch.” And there’s nothing more flattering."

When social commentary labels Millennials as evil and "older" employees as antiquated, it is easy to eliminate the possibility in our minds that fruitful collaboration is in fact possible. People of all ages work in open concept offices and decorate their desks just as they would in an old-fashioned closed office, but the source of status is different.

The value is placed on the mission rather than the roles of those serving it.

Wherever you might stand in the debate about Millennials and corporate reorganization, the only real question that it boils down to is:

What can we all offer each other that contributes to the company's mission?

Published in Coworking Blog